Flickr founders leave Yahoo

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The high-profile departures at Yahoo continue with the news that Flickr founders Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield are leaving.

Fake and Butterfield, who are married to each other, came to Yahoo when the company acquired their photo-sharing site, Flickr, in March 2005.

Since then, both have been considered key contributors to various efforts at Yahoo to modernize the company’s technology and bring it into the Web 2.0 era.

Fake finished her Yahoo tenure last week and Butterfield wraps it up in July, a Yahoo spokeswoman said via e-mail.

Butterfield served as Flickr’s general manager, while Fake was senior director of technology development.

On their way out, they join Jeff Weiner, executive vice president of Yahoo’s Network Division, who this week was appointed “executive in residence” at venture capital firms Accel Partners and Greylock Partners. He’ll start there in September.

Another recent departure: Chief Data Officer and Executive Vice President of Research & Strategic Data Solutions Usama Fayyad.

In February, as Yahoo axed 1,000 jobs, another well-known figure within the company, Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product strategy, decided to leave and take a job with Google.

While it’s common in the technology industry for high-ranking officials to leave their posts—either voluntarily or involuntarily—these high-profile departures certainly don’t help calm the corporate upheaval at Yahoo.

The company, which has been trying to shake off a financial and technological funk in recent years and has undergone several major restructurings in the past 18 months, is now the target of shareholder anger over its perceived mishandling of Microsoft’s unsolicited acquisition bid, which collapsed.

Investor Carl Icahn has nominated a slate of candidates to oust the current board at the next shareholders meeting, scheduled for Aug. 1. And shareholders are suing Yahoo, alleging that its leaders sabotaged Microsoft’s acquisition bid in order to protect their own interests at the expense of their fiduciary duty to shareholders.

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