AllThingsD first reported yesterday that Facebook CRO (formerly COO) Owen Van Natta is leaving the social network to pursue his desire to be a CEO. You could take all this at face value or read something more into Van Natta’s departure, depending on how skeptical/cynical you are. All the public statements, however, were favorable and laudatory.
Meanwhile, over at Yahoo, the company is planning to offer all its employees enhanced severance packages (“golden parachutes”) in the event they’re laid off after a potential Microsoft takeover. According to the Wall Street Journal:
The severance plans provide for staff that meet those conditions to receive four months’ to 24 months’ salary and health benefits, depending on their job level. Other provisions include accelerated vesting of stock options and restricted stock and reimbursement for outplacement services of up to $15,000.
The reason given for the packages is employee retention in the current climate of uncertainty, which has accelerated the departures of a number of high profile Yahoo employees, including Bradley Horowitz. The scope of these enhanced packages — extended to the entire company — is somewhat unprecedented. And the practical effect would be to impose additional costs on Microsoft after a possible takeover. One can imagine that Microsoft will tend to favor its own personnel over Yahoo’s and that there would be many layoffs after a deal closed.