Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chad Dickerson leaves Yahoo for Etsy - PDA: Digital Content Blog - Guardian UK

Another one bites the dust: Chad Dickerson, head of Yahoo's Brickhouse project and one of the forces behind Hack Day, is leaving. And he's staked out a fantastic new job as chief technology officer for one of my favourite websites -, the auction site for crafts.

ETech 2007 (Wednesday)
Photo by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Dickerson is just one more departure in a steady flow from Yahoo. Yep, it's a big company but the turmoil over potential acquisition (not to mention the prospect of being owned by Microsoft) has turned that trickle into something more worrying. Yahoo's brainpower, and many senior, well-regarded executives, is being soaked up by Google, Facebook and the rest of the Valley. So Dickerson is being a tad more original, and we like that. He also gets to go back home to the east coast.

He'll look after Etsy's technical infrastructure, application development and network infrastructure... more on Etsy's announcement last night. Dickerson doesn't reveal anything about the state of Yahoo:

"In leaving, I'm confident that Brickhouse is in good shape. The product teams (Fire Eagle and Yahoo! Live) are focused and cranking. Brickhouse continues to attract new talent and strong support from Yahoo management."

The Guardian's own Matt McAlister, formerly of Yahoo's parish, said Etsy should be ranked high on the to-watch list, but said Dickerson departure was unfortunate for Yahoo.

"Yahoo needs forward-thinking leaders like Chad who can make things happen. Retention must be top of mind at Yahoo before key institutional knowledge slips out the door and forces people to rethink things that have already been thought through," McAlister blogged last night.

"There are lots of great reasons to participate in the future of Yahoo where the Open Strategy stuff is unfolding. The Flickr Era set the stage for a lot of these smart ideas at Yahoo. I only worry that the pace of release at the company will fail to create the impact that will make those changes matter. It's not uncommon for great technology to lose due to bad timing."

I do love Etsy, but the duct tape laptop bag takes it a bit far...

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