NICK DOUGLAS — Is Yahoo really one chorus of "My Heart Will Go On" away from sinking into the Atlantic, according to the people in the company? I asked some current and former Yahoos about company morale during the mass disappearance of top execs (including CTO Zod Nazem).
Recently-exited employee #1:
"I'm about a trillion times happier not at Yahoo! I don't think it's an overstatement at all. What's depressing...is that I don't know anyone, particularly from Mobile, who was happy to leave. Everyone leaves in frustration, depressed that they couldn't do more, launch more things and remains bitter for months, if not ever. And yet, no one is unhappy once they left.
"The most depressing thing for me while working there was how innovation is squashed internally, then management buys up some startup that does exactly what you'd been fighting to do inside on your own, only to totally squash and kill innovation in the startup itself."
Recently-exited employee #2:
"[Morale] really, really depended on where you were, what you were working on. It ranged all over from 'Man, our project is awesome, things are great,' to 'This is so disorganized, what are we doing, despair despair despair.'
"[A former co-worker] told me Zod left and my jaw dropped. He was always there, so you just assume he was always going to be there.... Some folks think [Senior VP Marco Boerries] is incompetent, while some folks think he's able but so not a people person."
Member of a newer Yahoo division:
"[Changes] like Zod? I don't think there's anything significant. I think people outside of these companies over estimate the impact of such changes. If you're effectively run, each team has its own control and is doing its thing. A change 3 levels above may have long term effects but overall, it's hardly a dent on day to day morale and life. You still work on the same (hopefully cool) stuff."
Mid-level manager #1:
"Nick [Denton, Valleywag editor] makes it sound like people are upset that Lars or Zod left. Let me put it this way: HR asked that we make special care to ensure that people were ok with Zod leaving and didn't get too upset, but the real problem was making sure the celebrations didn't get out of hand. As a company, we have plenty of problems, but those execs leaving is not one of them."
Mid-level manager #2:
Declined to comment on the record.
Nick Douglas writes for Valleywag and Look Shiny. Practically half his friends work for Yahoo, but do they ever invite him to visit? No.