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Entryism Watch: Yahoo! Keeps Being Abducted by Microsoft Executives, HP Cancels Android Projects After CEO Appointment From SAP

Troy wall
Site of the Trojan War



Summary: The more Microsoft executives enter other companies, the less committed those companies become to projects that use GNU/Linux and the more receptive they become to other Microsoft veterans (friend brings a friend)

Entryism is much cheaper than buying an entire company (rather than taking over it from the inside). Entryism is usually a zero-cost means of converting a rival into an ally, with examples that in Microsoft's case include Novell, Corel, Xandros, and XenSource. One of the most recent examples is VMB_Ware, which now wants to buy SUSE. VM_Bware is filled with former Microsoft executives at the top. Other ongoing cases of entryism appear to be Yahoo!, Nokia, and HP. These are the ones we deal with in this post.



Microsoft's multi-year shakedown of Yahoo! has had Yahoo! hijacked by Microsoft from the inside. We documented this in many dozens of posts since 2008. What usually happens is that old Yahoo! managers leave or get expelled, only to be replaced by managers from Microsoft. It becomes like a Microsoft alumni reunion inside the newly-conquered company, whose old logo and name remain even though the agenda is different.

Many top managers are fleeing Yahoo!, still.

Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is finally confirming the departure of a trio of top executives, including Americas head Hilary Schneider. In a just-filed statement with the SEC, Yahoo says Schneider will “be leaving after a transition period.” And, in a statement provided to us, the company says it expects to appoint Schneider’s successor by year-end.

Yahoo is also confirming that SVP of audience, mobile and local David Ko and Yahoo Media Head Jimmy Pitaro are both also leaving. The company isn’t saying why, but Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz says in a memo sent to staff (via AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher) that all three are leaving for “different reasons that suit their life.”


Here are the terms of Schneider’s departure from Yahoo! [via Joseph Tartakoff] and here is indication of more of this exodus ("Yahoo In Disarray: Schneider, Ko, Pitaro All Reportedly Leaving"). There is more coming later today, based on the now-AOL-owned TechCrunch. The third paragraph is quite revealing:

Yahoo is in shambles right now. You’ve likely already heard about the most recent SVP exits, which CEO Carol Bartz has tried to spin. Now we’ve heard another one is leaving as well — Jeff Kinder, the SVP of Media Products and Solutions. And you know what that means — time for a massive re-org at the top of Yahoo. Yes, again.

Based on what we’re hearing, this re-org will take place next Tuesday. Of course, us reporting on this means that it could possibly be moved (as has happened in the past with Yahoo deals), but as of right now that’s the plan.

Based on what we’re hearing Yahoo Chief Product Officer Blake Irving may be the big winner of this re-org, as he’s been seen as the rising star in the company. Word is that he’ll be bringing some of his old Microsoft chums in to join him in high-up positions at this new-look Yahoo.


So, according to this, the Microsoft VP who became Yahoo Chief Product Officer "may be the big winner of this re-org, as he’s been seen as the rising star in the company. Word is that he’ll be bringing some of his old Microsoft chums in to join him in high-up positions at this new-look Yahoo."

Yahoo! is making it all quite stealthy. Joseph Tartakoff, who has been somewhat of a Microsoft watcher (especially in the past) and a Yahoo! watcher more recently, writes: "So, if this report of another Yahoo SVP leaving is true ... umm ... why didn't Yahoo announce his departure with the others yesterday?"

He also says: "Like, if Yahoo announced it, then people would cover that. Instead, people are being forced to write all these analysis pieces."

“It seems like Yahoo is just asking for yet ANOTHER story about how top people are leaving the company in droves”
      --Joseph Tartakoff
The rants go on as he argues: "It seems like Yahoo is just asking for yet ANOTHER story about how top people are leaving the company in droves"

"But instead it seems we'll have another week of stories about all the troubles at Yahoo," he adds.

Lastly, says Tartakoff, "Yahoo will continue to leave their external PR/messaging to bloggers instead of taking control of it themselves."

Microsoft is having problems and suffering many notable departures too (cannot be good for orientation); the issue is that these departing executives help Microsoft occupy some of its direct competition, due in part to HR mistakes. The thing about these seniors is that they land inside other companies and in the case of the mobile, entertainment, and Office businesses, we already see the negative impact. Microsoft appears to be poisoning Nokia these days, as we covered in:



Chips B. Malroy alerts us that following the latest news about SAP inside HP [1, 2] there are signs that HP is indeed losing some of its Linux direction, just like Yahoo! and Nokia. "If the headline is true," wrote Malroy in IRC, "this is what Roy has been saying." The headline says "HP Officially Drops Plans For Android Phones and Tablets" and here is a portion from the article:

The decision isn’t surprising, particularly as HP already announced it had no plans to make a phone running Windows Phone 7. However, the company still plans to sell that slate that Steve Ballmer was waving around back at a CES in January. Albeit, only business customers will see that still-unnamed slate.


This -- combined with the lawsuits from Microsoft (against Android) -- may lead to all sorts of conclusions or at least speculations. There was a lot more discussed in IRC (some parts to appear tomorrow as it went on past midnight). To quote some portions, Malroy said that "it looks like HP is only doing one Windows tablet" and Ziomatrix replied by saying that "it's only logical considering [that] if the new CEO proclaimed to not use acquired Palm assets for future projects that's worth $1.2B, the BoD would have him thrown out faster then you can say sexual harassment.

“I as well as other analysts foresee the new CEO forging a deeper relationship between SAP and MS in enterprise packages while competing more fervently with the likes of Oracle...”
      --Ziomatrix
"HP as an OEM has plenty of room to continue to accommodate MS products in PCs and Enterprise. I as well as other analysts foresee the new CEO forging a deeper relationship between SAP and MS in enterprise packages while competing more fervently with the likes of Oracle, like this: http://tinyurl.com/2c8wudg Perhaps we'll be surprised, don't forget most of the folks who re-vitalized Palm came from Apple and they wanted to be as un-Apple as possible as far as software openness is concerned."

"We are at the point where computer tech is changing at a faster rate and it becomes increasingly harder for Microsoft to hide both it's failures and it's decline," Malroy remarked later on and Ziomatrix responded with the claim that "perhaps this is the start of HP wanting to assemble an executive dreamteam to pen a strategy that will take them on their own path with exclusively their own assets such as Pheonix or HP-UX 11i+. One can dream..."

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