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Yahoo! chief operating officer de Castro exits web biz after just one year

Departure revealed in homework fed to US watchdog

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Yahoo!'s chief operating officer Henrique de Castro will leave the web biz today – having only arrived from Google about a year ago.

The company gave no reason for the move when it revealed, in paperwork submitted yesterday to US financial watchdog the Securities and Exchange Commission, that de Castro will depart before the week is out.

"Henrique de Castro ... will be leaving the company effective January 16, 2014," Yahoo! said in its SEC filing.

"Mr de Castro will receive the severance benefits provided for in his Employment Offer Letter, dated October 15, 2012, Severance Agreement, dated February 28, 2013, and equity award agreements."

The company has yet to name a replacement or announce a contingency plan in the wake of his departure.

Hired during an executive-level refresh by Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, de Castro was pried away from Google in 2012.

At the time of his appointment, de Castro was described by Mayer as "an incredibly accomplished and rigorous business leader," and "the perfect fit" to help turn around Yahoo!'s fortunes. Yet, amid the flurry of activity at tech's mega-trade show CES 2014 this month, it was alleged there was tension between Mayer and de Castro.

Mayer, in a keynote speech at the glitzy event in Las Vegas, announced a revamp of Yahoo!'s advertising wing, and the unveiling of an automated news-crunching mobile app based on recently acquired Summly.

Further information on de Castro's departure and Yahoo!'s plans for hiring a new chief operating office could be revealed on 28 January when the company is set to announce its quarterly earnings. ®

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