Yahoo products chief leaves company ahead of reorganization

SAN FRANCISCO Fri Apr 6, 2012 1:34pm EDT

The Yahoo! offices are pictured in Santa Monica, California April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The Yahoo! offices are pictured in Santa Monica, California April 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc's (YHOO.O) head of products is leaving the company, ahead of a major reorganization aimed to return the struggling Web company to growth.

The departure of Blake Irving, which a Yahoo spokeswoman confirmed, comes after the company announced its deepest job cuts in years earlier this week, with layoffs of 2,000 employees. On Tuesday, Yahoo Chief Executive Scott Thompson will hold an all-staff meeting to brief employees on the company's new management structure, a source at the company told Reuters earlier this week.

It's unclear how the products group headed by Irving will fit into the company's new framework, which the company has indicated will be based around three main businesses: core media and communications, platforms and data.

According to the Yahoo insider, Irving has been away from the company on vacation all week, even as the future of his team and his role remained uncertain.

One of the Web's pioneering companies, Yahoo has seen its revenue decline in recent years amid competition from Google Inc (GOOG.O) and Facebook.

The company is also facing a proxy fight with activist hedge fund Third Point, which is seeking to install a slate of handpicked directors on Yahoo's board.

Irving, a former Microsoft (MSFT.O) executive, was hired by former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz in 2010 to oversee Yahoo's consumer and advertising products. Bartz was fired over the phone in September and replaced a few months later with Thompson, the former president of PayPal.

News of Irving's departure was first reported by the technology blog AllThingsD.com.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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