Yahoo! Europe MD exits

Yahoo! executive senior vice-president and managing director for Europe and Canada, Tony Coppel, has left the company. His departure comes just weeks after chief executive Jerry Yang announced his resignation.

Coppel will be replaced by Rich Riley, currently senior vice president of the internet company’s European Advertiser and Publisher Group. He will be based in Yahoo!’s new European headquarters in Rolle, Switzerland.

Coppel says: “I have been transitioning our European business, restructuring it and making it stronger as Yahoo! is moving to product development on a global platform.”

He adds: “While there is more work, there is now a strong team in place focused on going forward and it needs to spread its wings. If we are streamlining and we mean it, it has to also start at the top.”

A spokeswoman for Yahoo! insists, however, that Coppel’s departure has no connection with the recent resignation of Yang.

Coppel joined Yahoo! in 2001 as part of the team brought in by then chief executive Terry Semel and was responsible for the sale of Yahoo!’s European shopping and price-comparison site Kelkoo to Jamplant, a UK-based private equity group, for €475m (£405m).

Sue Decker, the Yahoo! president, says: “The appointment of Rich Riley represents the next phase in the evolution of our European and Canadian businesses, enabling us to build on the great foundations laid by Toby Coppel. We are committed to continuing our growth as a leader in Europe and Canada.”

Riley is expected to continue with Coppel’s strategy of reining in costs in the company’s European operations. Coppel will remain with Yahoo! until spring next year to see Riley into his new role.

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