Flickr’s founders to leave Yahoo!

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington reports that the founders of popular photo sharing service Flickr, Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield, are set to leave the company.

The husband/wife combo leaves at a time that sees Flickr’s mothership Yahoo! in a heavy sea of massive problems. First, Yahoo!’s CEO Jerry Yang did really everything to prevent a takeover by Microsoft (dumb!), basically destroying billions of shareholder value, then he did a desparate advertising deal with archrival Google (dumb!), handing them over the keys to the kingdom (search business). And now employees of all ranks are leaving Yahoo! in a mass exodus, which comes as no surprise. Those who leave probably do not see any future for (and at) the Internet dinosaur. And they realize that if they wanted to work for Google, they could and should directly apply for a job in Mountainview.

Stewart Butterfield, photographed by Heather Powazek Champ
Stewart Butterfield (April 2007)
Photo by Heather Powazek Champ/flickr

Anyway, I have no problem with Fake and Butterfield leaving, given the poor performance of the duo during last years German Flickr crisis where the Flickr community had a chance to see their real, undisguised opinions for a short period. While Butterfield certainly did not agree with the actions demanded by the Yahoo! HQ, he still submitted to these requests. At that time, it became pretty obvious that the Flickr founders were mostly concerned about securing their share of the $35M paid by Yahoo! in March 2005 (and frankly, who wouldn’t?). All they probably needed to do was to survive the lockup period of their contracts. After that, they were free to leave. Well, thanks for all your efforts, good luck, and farewell! Enjoy your millions.

At least, we won’t have to read any new silly statements defending Yahoo!’s weird actions. Which is good.

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