The exodus of high level executives from Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) continued today with the confirmed departure of Jessica Jensen from the veteran internet giant’s Silicon Valley headquarters.
Jenson has been the critical driving force behind Yahoo’s flagship women’s services, notably its Shine website – as well as Yahoo’s lifestyle and health businesses. Jensen’s expertise is going to be sorely missed by Yahoo’s new CEO Scott Thompson, who is struggling to revive the corporations stagnating reputation and stock price.
Jenson’s departure is unlikely to have raised many smiles in Yahoo. Her women’s and lifestyle websites were considered among the best in their field in America and were one of the few areas where Yahoo was holding its own against the likes of Facebook and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).
The eyes of the worlds markets and internet industry have been on Yahoo since Thompson took over the helm in January 2012. Since promising “real change” to Yahoo’s investors, Thompson has made a number of controversial decisions that have made observers wary of what might be going on behind the scenes.
In effect, Thompson’s takeover has prompted a Stalin-esque purge of Yahoo’s 14,000 strong workforce; in the hope that dead wood will be cut away and new growth encouraged. The most recent move in this bloody game was the lay off of 2,000 employees on 4th April 2012 – amounting to no less than 15% of their total global workforce.
This far reaching restructure is tipped to save the company upwards of $375 million but critics assert that the apparent savings mask a hidden cost. Most of the redundancies have fallen on Yahoo’s technological experts – and it is in the field of technology development that Yahoo most needs good brains in order to meaningfully compete with its rivals.
It isn’t just some analysts who suggest that in Scott Thompson Yahoo has a mad chauffeur behind the wheel. Many of Yahoo’s top executives and technology experts are getting jumpy – and some are abandoning ship. Jenson is simply the latest of a long list of resignations Yahoo can scant afford at the moment.
The worrying thing for Yahoo is that its former tech gurus have no shortage of places to go. Of the 2,000 people laid off last month; 400 are rumoured to have already found employment with Skype and a further thousand with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Apple is tipped to be where Jensen is headed, following her former Yahoo colleague Todd Teresi into Apple’s Mobile iAd division. It is believed that Jensen will play a central role in the revamping of Apple’s mobile advertising service; which has already seen an upsurge in interest since minimum campaign fees were slashed last year.