It seems that word has started to leak out, so I might as well remove any speculation or ambiguity. In the next few weeks, I'll walk the halls at Yahoo! as an employee one last time and turn in my purple badge. After 8.5 years of service and a better experience than I could have possibly imaged back in 1999, the time for me to move on has arrived.
It's always hard to make a decision like this. It took several months to finally decide. I've really enjoyed my time at Yahoo and have a lot of people to thank--people who took a risk on me, believed in me, encouraged me, and even defended me over the years. There are literally too many to name, but some of them are: David Filo, Jerry Yang, Jeff Weiner, Phu Hoang, Ash Patel, Jeffrey Friedl, Mike Bennett, Anil Pal, Bradley Horowitz, Allen Wang, Chad Dickerson, Matt McAlister, and Chris Yeh.
If any of you read this, I've learned a lot from all of you. Really.
I've enjoyed working with some amazingly talented coworkers (far too many to name) and have had the opportunity to help some acquired companies navigate the inner workings of Yahoo as they scale up their services. That includes people in engineering, marketing, public relations, product management, design, legal, and more. You guys rock.
I can definitely say that I've had the chance to contribute to the success of Yahoo as much as I could muster. Whether it was staying up all night working on the 9/11 memorial size, launching the Yahoo! Search blog, starting the Yahoo! Developer Network, debugging MySQL problems, pushing RSS and syndication, introducing startups to Yahoo, arguing for openness, or making sure that news releases appeared on Yahoo! Finance quickly.
I won't at all be surprised if some people think this is related to Microsoft or Carl Ichan and the uncertainty surrounding Yahoo's future. The reality is that there's nothing pushing me out the door at Yahoo. The reason I'm leaving is that something very compelling has come along to lure me away. Despite what the current press sentiment might be, Jerry and David have built a remarkable company.
Ever since I graduated from college in 1997, I've wanted to work for a smaller company. But my first job out of school was a ~40,000 person Oil Company and my second was Yahoo! Back then Yahoo was in the 2,000 people ballpark but it eventually grew to seven times that size, give or take a bit. I've experienced the ups and downs--the layoffs and the big victories. I'd do it all over again if given the chance.
It's been quite a ride, and I'm really going to miss Yahoo. I'll miss the parking debates and all the "random" stuff we're so fond of ranting about. Watching from the outside is going to be a very different experience. But the opportunity to work in a much smaller company recently presented itself and it was simply too interesting to pass up. I'll say more about that in the coming weeks.
To all the Yahoos I've worked with over the years, thanks and please stay in touch. My email address will always be Jeremy@Zawodny.com and I'm on LinkedIn here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jzawodn. And, well, you've found my blog already. :-)
As for the future of Yahoo, everyone working at Yahoo today knows in their gut what Yahoo should be and needs to be. My advice is to work on making that happen. Don't let anyone else (inside or outside the company) try to tell you what Yahoo is. Trust your gut. And, if you have the chance, re-read the farewell note that Ian Rogers sent out when he left a few months back. It's good stuff.
And, by all means, don't take the stuff you read in the press at face value. You're all smarter than that.
Now where's that Yahoo Alumni club I've heard so much about?
BTW, JR is leaving as well.
- Prominent open-source developer bids Yahoo adieu CNet
- Yahoo's open-source search man to leave The Guardian
- Zawodny Leaves Yahoo; Weiner To Go? And Linsley Departs Ask Search Engine Land
- Yahoo Loses One Of Its Most Respected Employees Shoemoney
- Yahoo Loses Two More: Fayyad and Zawodny TechCrunch
- Bleeding purple Valleywag
- Jeremy Zawdony Leaves Yahoo: First Favorite Blogger Cartoon Barry
- Yahoo's Zawodny Announces Exit WebProNews
- More Top Yahoos Heading for the Exits New York Times Technology Bits
- Briefly: Key Yahoo Developer leaves The Industry Standard
- Yahoo Org Chart Likely To Be Redrawn—Again—With Weiner Departure; Other Major Departures Too paidContent.org
- Jeremy leaves Yahoo! Matt Cutts
- Yahoo's Jeff Weiner Leaves as Executive Ranks Thin Bloomberg
- Jeremy Zawodny Leaves Yahoo Aaron Brazell
- Yahoo! execs continue leaving in a single-file line BloggingStocks
- Yahoo Loses Another Exec--and Another and Another* BusinessWeek
- Voting with their feet? File this one under 'stampede' CNet News
- Yahoo! Loses Jeremy Zawodny! PageTraffic Blog
Posted by jzawodn at June 12, 2008 06:30 AM