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Zimbra founder to leave Yahoo in March

About a year and a half after Yahoo acquired his open-source e-mail company, Satish Dharmaraj will leave Yahoo in March.

Zimbra co-founder Satish Dharmaraj will leave Yahoo in March, about a year and a half after the company acquired the open-source and online e-mail service provider.

Jim Morrisroe, a long-time Zimbra executive, will replace Satish as vice president of Zimbra, Yahoo said. He'll report to Scott Dietzen, Zimbra's former president who was promoted to senior vice president of communications products for Yahoo last year.

Kara Swisher at All Things Digital reported the departure earlier today, and now here's Yahoo's official statement:

"Satish Dharmaraj will be leaving Yahoo in March. Satish is a valued member of the Yahoo team and will serve in an advisory role to Zimbra. He leaves behind a dedicated team who will continue to deliver open source, collaborative messaging software, and expand into new markets. Satish's contributions to Zimbra and Yahoo have been invaluable and we look forward to his continued support of the Zimbra project."

Yahoo has been working to combine its Yahoo Mail team with Zimbra's programmers. Some Zimbra features inspired some of the changes in Yahoo Mail, such as Web-based applications, which are now just beginning to arrive with the Yahoo Open Strategy. The revamped Yahoo Calendar, still in beta testing, is based on Zimbra's calendar.

Yahoo acquired Zimbra for $350 million in September 2007. At least so far, though, the Zimbra technology hasn't grown into a full-fledged Google Apps competitor. The technology is available both as open-source software that can be downloaded and run on in-house servers or as an online service.

Yahoo said all of Zimbra's engineering team and the other members of its management team are still working at the company.