Fred Amoroso resigned his position as chairman of Yahoo Inc., a position he'd held for only 14 months, on Thursday. Obviously, everybody immediately wondered what CEO Marissa Mayer did wrong. But there's not really any compelling reason to believe that Mayer had anything to do with the departure. Amoroso told the board that he only intended to remain chairman for a year. It's been a year and two months, and Amoroso even offered to stick around until June.
But wait, weren't we talking about Marissa Mayer? No, not really. Nicolas Carlson at Business Insider is, though. In the moments after the news broke Carlson spoke to three anonymous sources at Yahoo who painted a problematic portrait of Amoroso's history with Mayer. Carlson reports:
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wasn't his first choice for CEO. The day after Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was booted from the company, following allegations that he lied on his resume, Amoroso stood up at an all-employee meeting at Yahoo and said that Ross Levinsohn was going to be interim CEO, and that he should be the permanent CEO. Then Yahoo hired Marissa Mayer to be Yahoo's permanent CEO. The minute that happened, the clock started ticking on Amoroso.
Well, that might be true. But the whole blame-the-boss thing isn't going so great these days. Earlier this week, Politico's Dylan Byers lit up the Internet with a condemning profile of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson. Critics called Byers story a hit piece and scolded him for being sexist. Everybody gets mad at their boss, they said, and some gossipy statements from anonymous sources don't tell the whole story.
It would be disingenuous to call Carlson's take on the Yahoo leadership shuffle a hit piece. There are a lot of other things that happened that led to Amoroso's departure slash dismissal. Some bloggers will jump on the bandwagon and wonder whether the Mayer conflict predicated Amoroso's decline. Others will revisit Mayer's no-work-from-home policy, a story that the tech scene just gobbled up. Here's this new boss being a boss. Everybody freak out!
But seriously, we wish Amoroso luck in his future endeavors. Perhaps he'll get to use that home office after all.