Now that Google is to run the most profitable parts of Yahoo search advertising, what's a Yahoo search scientist like Qi Lu to do? Leave the company. Sources tell BoomTown that Lu is also mapping his way out of Big Purple, following following the Flickr founders, Usama Fayyad and Jeff Weiner. It's a big blow. One former Yahoo employee who yawned over Fayyad's departure tells us: "Now Qi Lu, on the other hand. People would go to war for him."
We've heard Lu's been frustrated at Yahoo for some time now. Assigned to Project Apex, the advertising dashboard Yahoo wants investors to believe will save the company — Lu heavily recruited fellow Yahoo Eric Boyd to work on the effort. Didn't happen. Instead, in April, Boyd turned him down and joined ad startup Mochi Media. A blackjack star, Boyd has a knack for making good bets: Since then, the word has been that Apex is underfunded and undermanned — short on everything but flashy PowerPoint presentations.