Reports: Yahoo's executive exodus continues

Three more high-ranking officials leaving the embattled company

Yahoo continues to lose high-ranking officials, as more business and technology leaders give up and bail out of the company as its years-long corporate turmoil shows no sign of ending.

The latest departures are Qi Lu, Brad Garlinghouse and Vish Makhijani, according to various publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD and TechCrunch, which got the information from anonymous sources.

Lu is executive vice president of the search and advertising technology group; Garlinghouse is senior vice president for communications and communities; and Makhijani is senior vice president for Yahoo's search group.

Lu has been with Yahoo since 1998 and heads the company's Web search efforts and monetization platforms, according to information still available on Yahoo's Web site.

In addition to his broad oversight of key Yahoo services, Garlinghouse is also known as the author of a scathing internal memo that came to light in November 2006. Known as the Peanut Butter Manifesto, the memo charges that the company lost its focus. Shortly after that memo got leaked to the press, Yahoo implemented one of several major reorganizations it has undergone in the past year and a half.

Yahoo declined to comment about the reported departures of Lu, Garlinghouse and Makhijani.

However, this week the company confirmed that Flickr founders Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield are leaving.

Fake and Butterfield, who are married to each other, came to Yahoo when the company acquired their photo-sharing site, Flickr, in March 2005.

Since then, both have been considered key contributors to various efforts at Yahoo to modernize the company's technology and bring it into the Web 2.0 era. Fake finished her Yahoo tenure last week and Butterfield wraps it up in July. Butterfield served as Flickr's general manager, while Fake was senior director of technology development.

Meanwhile, Jeff Weiner, executive vice president of Yahoo's Network Division, was appointed this week "executive in residence" at venture capital firms Accel Partners and Greylock Partners. He'll start there in September.

Chief Data Officer and Executive Vice President of Research & Strategic Data Solutions Usama Fayyad will end his Yahoo tenure in September.

Earlier this year, as Yahoo axed 1,000 jobs, another well-known figure within the company, Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product strategy, decided to leave and take a job with Google.

Yahoo has been trying to shake off a financial and technological funk in recent years and has undergone several major restructurings in the past 18 months.

It is now the target of shareholder anger over its perceived mishandling of Microsoft's unsolicited acquisition bid, which collapsed.

Investor Carl Icahn has nominated a slate of candidates to oust the current board at the next shareholders meeting, scheduled for Aug. 1. And shareholders are suing Yahoo, alleging that its leaders sabotaged Microsoft's acquisition bid in order to protect their own interests at the expense of their fiduciary duty to shareholders.

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Juan Carlos Perez

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