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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer fires COO for failing to arrest advertising revenue decline

Yahoo COO Henrique de Castro has been fired by CEO Marissa Mayer after a leaked memo revealed the company’s leadership is being restructured.

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The decision was first revealed in a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this week where no reason was given as to the change and it was down to Mayer’s internal memo to explain the rationale behind the choice.

“The beginning of a new year always provides time for reflection,” began the memo that was leaked by Recode. “During my own reflection, I made the difficult decision that our COO, Henrique de Castro, should leave the company. I appreciate Henrique’s contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

Mayer has also reorganised the firm’s leadership so that Dawn Airey, John Devine, Ned Brody and Rose Tsou will all report directly to her and chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt is to lead the firm’s media and editorial functions.

Mayer poached de Castro from Google back in October 2012 and he was brought on board to take responsibility for the firm’s global sales, operations, media and business development. Mayer praised the former Google VP for his experience in Internet advertising after heading advertising platforms and services for Google’s publisher and commerce partners.

During his time at Yahoo, however, de Castro failed to increase advertising revenues for both the website and mobile apps which meant that display-advertising revenue dropped by seven per cent year-on-year in Q3 to $421 million [£257 million].

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It’s likely that de Castro will get a huge severance package from Yahoo since he was on an annual salary of $600,000 [£366,748] that came with an annual bonus of up to 90 per cent of that amount. The contract he was on also included restricted stock units and performance-based stock options totalling $56 million [£34 million] over four years.