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Top executive Jeff Weiner leaving Yahoo

UPDATE JUNE 16: The venture capital firms announced the Jeff Weiner hire today.

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UPDATE 11:30 A.M.: The always excellent Kara Swisher of BoomTown e-mailed to say that she didn't think we gave her proper credit for predicting that Jeff Weiner was on his way out. In a second post on the subject Wednesday, she wrote:

Several sources in Silicon Valley’s voluble venture community confirm the high-ranking exec has been offered and seems likely to accept a spot splitting his time as an executive in residence at two firms–Accel Partners and Greylock Partners.

Here is her latest post on the subject, in which she runs down some of the options for how Yahoo might fill his shoes.

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Jeff_weinerAnother high-profile defection from beleaguered Yahoo: Jeff Weiner, executive vice president of the network division, has resigned to split his time between two venture capital firms, a person familiar with the situation said tonight. The pending move was previously reported by such websites as BoomTown and  TechCrunch.

Weiner (at right) joined Yahoo under former Chief Executive Terry Semel. The two had worked together at Warner Bros. and co-founded Windsor Digital, an investment firm focused on digital media.

At Yahoo, he was not only a senior manager but one of those leaders who embody the soul of the company. He ran the search and marketplace businesses and recently took charge of many of the core products, including Yahoo.com, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger. His departure is viewed as a major blow to a company already struggling to maintain its focus during a distracting battle for control with Carl Icahn.

Weiner recently returned from paternity leave. During that time off he reportedly contemplated fatherhood and the future. And he explored the possibility of taking an entrepreneur-in-residence role at two venture capital firms, Accel and Greylock, where he has strong ties to former Yahoos. At Accel, his buddy is Andrew Braccia. At Greylock, it's James Slavet.

Our source says to look for a change in organizational structure at Yahoo rather than a direct replacement for Weiner, whom many say would be hard to replace in good times and nearly impossible in the times Yahoo currently faces.

A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment.

-- Jessica Guynn

Photo courtesy of Yahoo

 
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