Tumblr Product Head Derek Gottfrid Leaves

Tumblr CEO David Karp Announces Departure in Internal Memo

By Published on .

Derek Gottfrid
Derek Gottfrid

Tumblr's VP-product and engineering, Derek Gottfrid, is leaving little more than a year after Yahoo bought the microblogging service.

A Tumblr spokeswoman confirmed the news, which was first reported by Business Insider, but declined to comment on the reasons for Mr. Gottfrid's departure and or whether the company plans to fill the position.

Tumblr sold to Yahoo thirteen months ago for $1.1 billion. The portal doesn't disclose Tumblr's revenue in its quarterly earnings reports.

Since the acquisition, Tumblr's most notable work has been meant to tie its own product into its parent company and the vast reach among consumers that it affords.

Yahoo in January introduced two sections, Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech, that were designed as "digital magazines" using Tumblr's publishing tools. Digital magazines such as Yahoo Movies and Yahoo Beauty have followed.

And last month Yahoo said it would begin running Tumblr ads on Yahoo sites. That marked the first step toward a Tumblr ad network that Mr. Gottfrid had hinted at in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. In that same interview he nodded to the site's video ambitions. As Ad Age has previously reported, Tumblr has become central to Yahoo's plan to build a YouTube rival.

In an internal memo this morning, Tumblr CEO David Karp told employees that Mr. Gottfrid was out. In taking responsibility for the departure and assuming some of Mr. Gottfrid's duties, his memo echoed Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's remarks upon the exit of Yahoo COO Henrique de Castro:

Team — I've made the decision that it's time for Derek to move on from Tumblr.

Derek's contributions are immeasurable and I am tremendously grateful for everything he has done for me, the team, and our users.

With this change, I will be taking a more active role in managing Derek's teams. Derek leaves big shoes to fill and I'm excited to see you all step in as we move forward. I'll be following up with his teams over the next couple days to answer any questions, address any concerns, and go over changes in reporting.

Thank you all for all your efforts and patience during this transition. I've truly never been more excited for Tumblr's future.


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