Yahoo’s second-in-command let go after only 14 months

16 Jan 2014

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Henrique de Castro, former chief operating officer of Yahoo!

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Yahoo!’s COO, Henrique de Castro, has been let go by the company after only 14 months after CEO Marissa Mayer decided he could not continue in the role.

Having being hired from Google, where he led worldwide partner business solutions and prior to that oversaw Google’s media, mobile and platforms organisation worldwide, de Castro was to be Mayer’s second-in-command.

Now, because of Yahoo!’s continuing falling ad revenue, his position at the company is apparently no longer tenable.

According to figures reported by Forbes, Yahoo!’s display-ad revenue had fallen by 7pc in Q3 of last year while its search-ad revenue fell by 8pc last year as it faced increasing competition from Google, as well as Facebook.

Yahoo! released a memo to staff announcing his departure and despite an insistence on confidentiality among employees, the memo has been leaked to re/code.

In the statement ,Mayer told staff: “During my own reflection, I made the difficult decision that our COO, Henrique de Castro, should leave the company. I appreciate Henrique’s contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Questions were initially raised about de Castro’s position after his no-show at this month’s CES in Las Vegas, where Mayer herself went to speak.

De Castro’s time at Yahoo! has been incredibly lucrative, having been enticed from Google with an estimated US$62m financial package over the four years of his contract, now cut short with an expected severance package.

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Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com