Yahoo's open source guru walks out

While the company still insists it is transforming itself into an open and social platform from the inside out, there is now a serious question over who is executing the strategy. And over just what kind of company Yahoo sees itself as.

Jerome Zawodny
Will the last smart person to leave Yahoo please turn out the lights?

Back when Microsoft was ready to swallow Yahoo our own Matt Asay suggested it could be a great deal for open source, given Yahoo's extensive open source strategy.

Projects like Zimbra, Hadoop and the Yahoo User Interface Library were strategic and would have to be exploited if Microsoft were to make the deal pay, he wrote.

But now the man most closely linked to that strategy, Jeremy Zawodny, says he's outta here. Chief data officer Usama Fayyad and network head Jeff Weiner have also joined the exodus.

While the company still insists it is transforming itself into an open and social platform from the inside out, there is now a serious question over who is executing the strategy. And over just what kind of company Yahoo sees itself as.

It's clear that the "portal" strategy so beloved of Wall Street a decade ago was wrong. By concentrating on search, which is what counts, Google blew by Yahoo and never looked back.

Which leads to this advice for chief Yahoo Jerry Yang. Whatever your strategic thoughts, don't take them from us. Make the Internet better for us and we'll make the bottom line better for you.

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