Two former Yahoo executives who built the YouTube sales team after leaving the portal for the promise of riches at the online-video startup were gone the day the acquisition was announced.
Google didn't want former Yahoo executives on the sales staff of its newest prize, according to online ad executives familiar with the situation, underscoring the acrimonious relationship between it and Yahoo, the No. 1 portal and Google's chief rival in the search and ad space.
It's unclear whether the two employees who left -- Tony Nethercutt, VP-sales, and his East Cost lieutenant, John White -- managed to depart with a cut of the sale. Neither returned a request for comment and YouTube did not comment.
It's also unknown if either had noncompete contracts in place with Yahoo that would have been triggered once Google became owner of YouTube. At Yahoo, Mr. Nethercutt headed national ad sales. Gideon Yu, YouTube's chief financial offer and a former Yahoo treasurer, is still at the company.
Advertising and marketing at YouTube is helmed by Suzie Reider, who came from CNET just three weeks before the acquisition. Ms. Reider had no comment.
"Unfortunately, we're still two different companies, and the deal has yet to close," a Google spokesman said. "We continue to operate as two separate entities and can't comment on YouTube affairs until that period closes."