Yahoo search exec departs, perhaps to Microsoft

Top search engineer Sean Suchter is leaving Yahoo, and there's speculation that he is headed to a post at Microsoft.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried

Microsoft may no longer be looking to buy Yahoo outright, but I'm guessing it is not averse to picking up some of its talent.

Valleywag reported on Wednesday that Sean Suchter, a top search executive at Yahoo, is leaving the company and speculated that he is headed to Microsoft. Kara Swisher, at All Things Digital, says she's hearing the same thing.

The move comes the same week as Yahoo announced that Jerry Yang will step down as soon as the company finds his replacement.

Suchter's colleagues didn't try to sugarcoat the news of his departure, according to an e-mail posted by Valleywag.

"Unfortunately, I have to give some bad news to you," Tuoc Luong wrote in a note to folks on the Yahoo search team. "Sean Suchter has resigned. Sean's last day will be December 19th. Some of you will find this news shocking given that Sean has been a Gibraltar rock at Yahoo and in particular for the Search team. I understand this."

Then again, if Steve Ballmer gets his way, maybe Microsoft will end up as Yahoo's search partner and Suchter will be reunited with his colleagues.

No official comment yet from either Microsoft or Yahoo.

Update 11:45 a.m. PST: Yahoo confirms he's leaving.