One of Yahoo's key search executives, who sought to put the best light on its decision to outsource back-end search crawling to Microsoft over the last several months, is leaving the company.
Larry Cornett, formerly vice president of search consumer products, announced his departure from Yahoo on his personal blog, as spotted by Search Engine Land. Cornett was one of the more visible search executives at Yahoo over the past year, as he sought to gain respect for Yahoo's search technology at the same time as defending the company's decision to cut a search deal with Microsoft.
Yahoo has tried to bolster its sagging search market share by emphasizing the work it has done in improving the presentation of search results, an effort in which Cornett often served as lead spokesman. The company has stabilized its share in recent months, but only after resorting to gimmicks such as turning news photo galleries into "search" queries.
While Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz continues to insist the company is committed to search in that respect--search results as a user-experience design problem--that's exactly the kind of background Cornett possessed, having led software design teams at eBay and Apple, among other stops, according to his LinkedIn profile. Cornett plans to work on a newly launched consulting business, but also said in his blog post that he's working on a start-up in stealth mode.