Still in their posts, at least for now, are CRO and Amazon vet Lisa Utzschneider; former Flurry president and CEO Simon Khalaf, Yahoo’s SVP of publisher products; and former BrightRoll CEO and founder Tod Sacerdoti, now VP of display and video advertising products. Yahoo acquired video DSP BrightRoll in November 2014.
Brian Silver, who formerly headed up the now-defunct Right Media Exchange, is still knocking around Yahoo’s corridors as VP of global business planning and operations for the company’s communications products.
But the Yahoo exodus – and Fuloria’s departure in particular – appear to signal that the linchpin players tasked with righting the Yahoo ship no longer have faith in Mayer’s ability to guide the turnaround.
Mayer’s plan for Yahoo has most recently centered on four core aspects of the ads and media business: mobile, video, native and social, or Mavens, as Mayer likes to call it.
There’s nothing actually wrong with that approach. The problem, rather, came in the implementation, said Scott Galloway, an NYU Stern School of Business professor and L2 founder, in a recent interview with Bloomberg TV.
“To [Mayer’s] credit, her strategy was the right strategy – some bold acquisitions and a focus on mobile – but the execution didn’t work, and as a result we have a core asset that is less than zero,” Galloway said, noting that the board’s intent to abort the planned Alibaba spin in favor of a reverse spinoff of Yahoo’s core media and advertising business instead is recognition that her strategy isn’t working.
Galloway predicted that Mayer would likely gracefully bow out within the next six months to a year in order to “spend more time with her family,” at which point a sale of Yahoo is the most plausible outcome.
A number of potential suitors have been floated as potential buyers, including Verizon, NBC, Softbank and AT&T.