Yahoo chief information security officer Justin Somaini abruptly resigned this week, according to people familiar with the company. AllThingsD reports that the same sources believe his departure is the result of a poorly patched vulnerability in Yahoo Mail that allowed hackers to flood users’ inboxes with spam.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was brought aboard last year to get the internet giant back on the saddle. Her current agenda includes shuffling the company’s executive ranks, and everyone is fair game. Someone had to take responsibility for the recent Mail security hiccup and it could be that Somaini was an easy fish to fry, but he was only one of many names on Mayer’s list.
“Along with a number of execs, including Connections SVP Shashi Seth, addressing such issues were within Somaini’s purview. It’s not clear if Seth — who has also been the subject of persistent departures rumors internally over the last few months — will also be getting some of the blame for the embarrassing security problem in a key Yahoo product.”
It seems Mayer’s plans to turn things around for Yahoo begins internally. Cisco CEO John Chambers took a similar approach last year when his company’s fiscal performance declined due to poorly implemented decision-making arrangement that slowed down operations.
The founding CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma, just announced his own restructuring plans: he and almost every member of the board will be stepping down in the coming months to make room for new talent. Ma, who will continue to serve as his company’s chairman, said in a letter to employees that he is not as energetic as he used to be and that new market conductions necessitate fresh leadership.
Mayer’s mission to restore Yahoo to its former glory may seem impossible in light of the company’s unwavering decline in the past few years, but other industry leaders have shown it can be done.