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The Exodus Continues: Yahoo Loses Ad Product Chief Prashant Fuloria

Another wheel comes off the bus.

Another major Yahoo exec is departing — SVP of advertising products Prashant Fuloria is exiting his job for parts unknown, according to an internal memo.

Fuloria confirmed in an email to me that he was leaving the Silicon Valley Internet giant at the end of the year. He did not say where he was going, but I would guess wherever he wants since he is a former Facebook and Google exec and is also an experienced entrepreneur.

Yahoo said as much in a statement:

“Prashant Fuloria, Yahoo’s SVP, Product & Engineering, Advertising Products has decided to leave the company and go back to his startup roots, working with entrepreneurs and early-stage companies. Prashant has made a major positive impact here at Yahoo since joining the company through our acquisition of Flurry, and we thank him for his dedication to integrating Flurry and strengthening our advertising products and business. Moving forward, in addition to his duties leading our search products, Enrique Munoz Torres will now oversee all advertiser-facing products for Yahoo, including both the Gemini and BrightRoll platforms.”

Interestingly, sources inside the company said the fact that Torres already had control of the important Gemini ad offerings was one thing that rankled Fuloria.

More important, the departure is yet another indication that the wheels, as they say, continue to come off the bus at Yahoo, which is under the now rocky leadership of CEO Marissa Mayer. (While I know it seems like a lot of wheels at this point, sources said there are more to come.)

Fuloria is well liked within Yahoo and has a very good reputation outside of it, too, and was a favorite of Mayer’s, rising quickly in the company to take over all of ad products.

He was responsible for the company’s global advertising product efforts, joining Yahoo in 2014 after it bought Flurry, where he led product and engineering efforts for the mobile app analytics platform. At Facebook, he led its ad products team and also commerce products; at Google, he ran products for the Asia-Pacific region, among other things.

It’s another loss for Mayer, who is reeling from a number of issues of late. Earlier this week, Yahoo said it would reverse the spinoff of its assets in Alibaba Group and instead spin off its core business and more. Mayer had pushed for the Alibaba spin, but had to acquiesce after activist shareholder Starboard Value objected to it, due to tax issues.

While announcing the backtrack, Yahoo Chairman Maynard Webb insisted that the company was not for sale and that Mayer would continue to turn around the troubled company. She has not managed to do so in the more than three years since she arrived from Google and now is plagued with talent departures like Fuloria’s.

And, no matter what its board says, like a yak at a watering hole, Yahoo is now a slow-moving target for any number of bidders, from telco giants to media companies to private equity firms.

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