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Major Executive Shake-Up at Yahoo Media Unit Amid Company-Wide Talent Turmoil (Update)

CMO and media boss Kathy Savitt is out. Look for more to come.

According to sources, Yahoo’s media unit is about to undergo a major shake-up, with executive changes that could include the departure of its top manager, Kathy Savitt.

Savitt is also the CMO of the company.

Sources, both inside and outside the company, said that Savitt’s continued tenure has been the topic of much discussion inside Yahoo for a while and that changes were likely. Friday is always a day companies tend to drop bad news, so some think the news could even come today.

Update: It’s official. Per a press release, Savitt is joining STX Entertainment, a “fully-integrated motion picture, television, and digital content studio,” and will run its digital operations.

Those sources also added that the move was part of a larger — and troubling — exodus of top execs from all over the company.

Scott Burke, Yahoo’s SVP of advertising and data platforms, left quietly in August, after losing much of his portfolio to other execs. And the well-regarded Dawn Airey, who headed Europe and other international units for the company, just left after two years at Yahoo, apparently exasperated by the lack of progress in its turnaround.

As in all companies, some departures are like Airey’s, while others are more of a don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out situation. In Savitt’s case, said many sources, her once close relationship with CEO Marissa Mayer has gotten less so in recent times.

There have been a lot of changes in the media unit too, including some layoffs and other adjustments. Under Savitt and with the support of Mayer, Yahoo has sought to create a content destination site, with elaborate online magazines and big-name hires like Katie Couric and David Pogue.

Still, the lack of traction in reviving its core business, especially advertising, has begun to take its toll. And, no surprise, there are many more as other Silicon Valley companies — such as Twitter, Facebook and others — have grabbed the cream of the crop at Yahoo of late, as its core business has continued to suffer.

I have spent the last several weeks compiling a long list of the leavings, so more to come.

This article originally appeared on

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