Tech revolving door: Blake Irving out at Yahoo, plus exits at HP, RIM

This week’s departures came at three tech companies that have plenty in common. Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard and Research in Motion have been around a while. They have struggled to adjust as new competition has popped up in a world of social and mobile. Not coincidentally, all three companies have new chief executives.

• Blake Irving, head of products at Yahoo, has resigned, according to reports by AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher and Bloomberg. Irving’s team was among the hardest hit when the company announced Wednesday that it is cutting 2,000 jobs. Irving, formerly of Microsoft, came to Yahoo in 2010 when Carol Bartz was CEO.

Swisher’s sources say Irving disagreed with the mass layoffs — Yahoo’s sixth in four years — that appear to come with no plan on how the struggling Sunnyvale company is going to move ahead. Scott Thompson, the former PayPal president who became Yahoo CEO in January, is reportedly going to address employees Tuesday about that plan.

• There was a key departure reported this week at another Silicon Valley company in transition. HP Labs chief Prith Banerjee has left the Palo Alto company, Brandon Bailey of the Mercury News wrote Wednesday. Banerjee, who was hired five years ago by then-HP CEO Mark Hurd, will become chief technology officer at ABB, a Swiss tech company.

CEO Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO who took the helm at HP in September, has indicated she wants HP’s research arm to work more closely with its business units. CTO Shane Robison, who had been at the company for 11 years and headed HP’s research and development, left HP in October.

• Finally, the revolving door keeps turning at BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, a Canadian company whose falling fortune has been tied to Silicon Valley’s dominance in smartphones. A couple of vice presidents, one for the BlackBerry platform and one for BlackBerry messaging, are reportedly either leaving or have left. The departures come on the heels of a turnover at the top, with former co-chairman and CEO Jim Balsillie leaving at the end of March. Mike Lazaridis, who along with Balsillie stepped down as co-chairman and CEO in January, remains on the board as vice chair, according to

Last week, RIM reported that revenue dropped 25 percent in its most recent quarter, falling short of expectations. Among the options RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has said the company is considering are licensing its software, or an outright sale.


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  • Blackberry,

    Please make it possible and easy to sync my calendar to my Live Calendar. Otherwise, why stay with you? (Or provide calendaring software for my PC that links to my Blackberry).