The Business On... Brad Garlinghouse, former executive at AOL
Friday 18 November 2011
The Peanut Butter guy?
Assuming you don't mean he is in the business of fatty sandwich spreads, you may have the right man. Mr Garlinghouse wrote the infamous "Peanut Butter Manifesto", ripping apart his superiors' business strategy when he was at Yahoo in 2006.
"We lack a focused, cohesive vision... The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular." Like Peanut Butter, he said, adding, "I hate peanut butter."
Got him quite the reputation, didn't it?
The boy from Kansas was already well respected in Silicon Valley, working in venture capital fresh out of Harvard Business School, and then up through the ranks of Yahoo's "communities and communications" division, which looks after Yahoo Mail. But, yes, his manifesto made some waves. The Yahoo chief executive was fired within the year.
But now Mr Garlinghouse is at AOL?
You would have been right at the start of the week, but he's got disillusioned there too. He has been running the Silicon Valley office of Yahoo's equally troubled rival since 2009, in charge of products like instant messenger. Trouble is, AOL is focusing on being a media company these days.
Is his exit a shock?
Anyone reading his tweets might have spotted the clues. Last week, he quoted the new Steve Jobs biography: "When sales guys run the company, product guys don't matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off." It's as damning as anything he ever said about Yahoo.
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