Ask.com has lost top European marketer Rachel Johnson – the latest in a string of high-profile defections from the major search engines this month.
Johnson, European vice-president of marketing for the search engine, has left without another job to go to.
A spokeswoman for the company has confirmed her departure, adding that there are no immediate plans to replace her.
The UK marketing team is now down to two people, supported by a public relations team of two plus four researchers.
Ask.com has struggled to maintain a high profile in the UK market against increasingly strong competition from Google, Yahoo! and MSN.
Earlier this year the company rebranded from its previous name of Ask Jeeves, dropping its iconic butler character in the process.
Johnson joined Ask Jeeves in early 2005 from Levi Strauss, where she had been marketing director for northern Europe.
Earlier this month, market leader Google lost UK chief Kate Burns, who decided to take a career break (MW June 15).
Also in early June, Yahoo! Search Marketing lost European vice-president of sales Mark Chippendale, who joined News Group Newspapers as new media director.