IT Management: Bartz, Jobs, Schmidt Top Long List of 2011 Senior Executive Exits
Jobs announced his resignation in August as persistent ill health prevented him from performing the CEOs duties. Few things hurt more than not being able to do what you love due to illness. Our heart goes out to him. What has Jobs done? Hes only revolutionized personal computing gadgets with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Is there an Apple Television encore on the way? Who knows?
In April, Eric Schmidt was nudged aside by co-founder Larry Page, who took up the reins for the first time since giving them to Schmidt in 2002. Schmidt was a solid CEO, though his failure to accelerate Google's move into social networking, which took stronger shape under Page with the launch of Google+ in June, may have cost the company some time in its competitive race against market leader Facebook. For now, it seems as though Google hasn't missed a beat. We're not even missing Schmidt's controversial tongue slips. As executive chairman, Schmidt still has the limelight and makes speeches all over the world.
Yahoo canned Carol Bartz 30 months into a largely ineffective tenure where she failed to move the needle meaningfully in terms of keeping Yahoo's millions of visitors engaged with the Website and clicking more on ads. The tart-tongued former Autodesk CEO called the board doofuses for making her the patsy in the mismanagement of the Internet companys assets. CFO Tim Morse became interim CEO as Yahoo begins a search for a new leader. What's too bad about this is that Bartz reportedly mismanaged the sales team so badly that several key ad vets left in disgust, depleting the monetization talent. Who wants the job? Don't all raise your hand at once.
Elevated to the CEO role by AMD after the chip maker fired Hector Ruiz in 2008, Dirk Meyer guided the company through some tough times but wasn't quite the manager it needed. AMD Chairman Bruce Claflin said: "The Board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time. This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns. We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company's ability to accomplish these objectives." AMD tapped CFO Thomas Seifert as interim CEO and replaced him with Lenovo's former president, Rory Read, last month.
Steve Hoover took over for Mark Bernstein as CEO of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) on Jan. 11, 2011. This is the legendary technology research lab Apple's Steve Jobs visited for personal computing inspiration decades ago. No infamy here; Bernstein retired after an amazing 31 years on the job. Hoover joined PARC from its parent company, Xerox, where he had served as vice president of the software and electronics development group.
Rick Belluzzo, CEO of Quantum, also stepped down in April after a nine-year turn at the storage provider's helm. Belluzzo, who was president and COO of Microsoft from 1999 to 2002, became executive chairman of the company's board of directors. That's pretty much Schmidt's new role at Google. Quantum named then President and COO Jon Gacek as its new CEO.
HP House Cleaning
CIO Randy Mott was ousted as part of a massive corporate reorganization led by newish CEO Leo Apotheker, an SAP enterprise software whiz who was hired to run a hardware and systems company. Senior Vice President Ann Livermore was shunted aside to serve on HP's board of directors. Under this reorganization, HP is getting out of the mobile communications business and selling off its consumer computer business.
Chamath Palihapitiya, vice president of user growth, mobile and international for Facebook, left in June to join the Social+Capital Partnership venture fund. He previously oversaw Facebook Platform and launched Facebooks online advertising channel. The company wouldn't be where it is without his efforts. It's a big loss.
Java pioneer James Gosling joined Google in April 2011 from Oracle, which had bought his former employer Sun Microsystems. He soon left for Liquid Robotics, a maker of unmanned ocean vehicles in August. We thought Google would have used Gosling to defend Android in its patent infringement suit against Oracle. This was not the case. Gosling was simply a systems software engineer, with a major legacy cachet.
Okay, so you got us here. Tim Armstrong remains CEO and chairman at AOL. But, like Bartz, Armstrong has failed to return AOL to respectability and keep Web users engaged. He also stuck his foot in his mouth by saying that TechCrunch gets an exception to the rule of editorial objectivity as he smoothed the way for the CrunchFund, which AOL backed with $10 million. The clock has to be ticking for Armstrong to catch some of the Googley magic he enjoyed when he led advertising at the search engine giant.
HPs Leo Apotheker is out as HP CEO after only 11 months on the job, continuing a revolving door at the embattled computer systems vendor that will have its fourth CEO since 1999. Apotheker's exit was hastened by his questionable decision to shutter his webOS smartphone and tablet line. Apotheker also agreed to drop $10 billion to buy enterprise software maker Autonomy, a deal that will likely be consummated. In his place is long-time EBay CEO and newest HP board member Meg Whitman, who hopes to bring some of her well-honed operational expertise and discipline to the company.