Blog Post

Yahoo India MD George Zacharias Resigns; Gets $20 Million From Sequoia Capital For New Venture

Updated below

(Original Story: 2007-08-06, 02:12 AM PST) We’d contacted Yahoo India regarding this, and just received a press release confirming that George Zacharias, Managing Director, Yahoo India has stepped down to pursue “entrepreneurial interests”. Keith Nilsson, VP-International Emerging markets for Yahoo will head Yahoo India. Zacharias will continue to work with Yahoo India over the next 4-6 months weeks.

Zacharias had joined Yahoo India as MD in Jan 2006, from Sify, where he was COO. Zacharias was with Sify for five years, before which he was with Bangalore based Madura Coats for 16 years, and was appointed President of Madura Garmets in 1997. Zacharias graduated from Nagpur University with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1980 and from XLRI, Jamshedpur with a PGDBM in 1982.

Update: Agencyfaqs reports that Yahoo’s formed a leadership council – Pranesh Anthapur, COO of Yahoo! India R&D, Sandeep Srivastava, Head (Strategy), and Pearl Uppal, Director (Sales) – which will report to Nilsson. Zacharias says that he’s starting a tech (not consumer Internet) firm, which will be unveiled in a few weeks.

Update 2:

The rumor that Sequoia Capital is funding George Zacharias’ IT venture was there even before we got a confirmation that he has resigned as Yahoo India MD. Mint reports, quoting a source, that the infrastructure management startup is receiving $20 million from Sequoia Capital. The funds will be invested over a year, and the first investment will be used to finance an acquisition in the US. The founding team has six to seven people, mostly from Yahoo India and Sify. More at Mint.

23 Responses to “Yahoo India MD George Zacharias Resigns; Gets $20 Million From Sequoia Capital For New Venture”

  1. PROBIR KUMAR ROY

    George Zach, a soft spoken, firm believer in committments, and a true leader and achiever in every aspect. I have been fortunate enough to work under him at the lower rung of the ladder in his days as VP in Coats, and have closely seen him and his vision. I sincerely wish Zach Sir all the very best and Let this Christmas and the New Year usher him all the happiness and prosperity with success in his new Venture.

    Sir we are with you from the core of our heart. You are our shining star in this planet.

  2. Folks,

    Without offending anyone of you I would like to know how many of you would make it to that league in terms of credibility and success.

    George Zach has a spartan reputation and in my opinion Yahoo! did not fully exploit the potential of a seasoned pro like him.

    Sify was well ahead of its time and had to go through a change in ownership and several other changes in the industry landscape and George could not do much.And Yahoo of course is going through a rough situation globally and George did have differences with their Global board.

    George is a true leader and it is just a temporary phase..you would soon see him in his new avatar building a great team and a viable organization.

  3. Pancham Endlaw

    GZ is a good man. Period. There will always be stories from both sides of the coin. Perhaps things worked at different pace than his :-/ Perhaps . . . . perhaps . . . . All the best man. Look to some news on ur new venture

  4. Good luck to Zach. One can make a guess of all the 6-7 people from Yahoo & Sify who will be joining. One can make educated guess of people who will be joining him from Yahoo, Sify & VSNL

  5. Zach is a well read, nice talk person, surely has the gift of the gab

    Zac painted a rosy picture to his US bosses & promised them the moon, but could not deliver anything. GZ moved had to move out because of his own follies, the place became unmanageble for him & his bosses did not buy his stories anymore.

    As far as his new venture goes only time will tell

  6. ….wonders never cease and as they say a fool and his money soon part. Sequoia, obvioulsy is siting on cash and not knowing what to do. Guess they will write this off as charity……

  7. Really do not understand how companies choose their top guys nowdays.No due dilligence done , no skill sets matched ….Its as if the digital age riches will be missed if we stop and think.
    What have you been doing those year?putting brand and years on CV , or making things work .Unfortunately most of the Internet top shots have the former.
    This is a general observation !!! .

  8. Rakesh Mathur

    India has produced some brilliant brains in dotcom ??? ROFL

    @Aan : Name a salaries employee at the helm of a dotcom ( apart from jobsites) who have the mojo to handle the role. Which indian dotcom ( apart from jobsites and matrimony portals) have a success story behind them??

    Most of the dotcom execs in India are guys those who can give gyan but cant generate a rupee as revenue…. :p

    In my opinion GZ is a seasoned leader and i think he decided to leave due to internal environment in Yahoo! Tell me one second line senior guy currently in yahoo, who'd do well outside yahoo? It answers the question. Just because yahoo is doing well, there guys have ther job intact..simple.

    GZ has moved out because yahoo had "too much of ambitions" in India , which is not realistic nor he had guys who could rake in some moolah aka revenue of their own….simple.

  9. By the way the last deal which GZ made with Tyroo was done in such a haste, it seems to me that GZ knew that he's gona go out of Yahoo and surely got some kickback in making this deal go through. Why would Yahoo put money on a product like Tyroo, when they already coming out with Product like Panama.

    India has produced some brilliant dotcom entrepreneurial brains, so what the problem with Yahoo selecting the right person for there India Ops. Why thy getting these old horses who has lost thr vision in this internet economy.

  10. sandeep miztry

    yes indeed.Esentially he is not consumer internet or tech consumer background guy.I have alsways been puzzled with yahoo's hires (Deepak,Neville and Zach)since they first came to India-all non tech consumer guys.Who perforce learn on thier jobs (what internet is, what new media and convergence is ll about,etc)rather than add add another layer or take the organsiation to another level during their tenures.

    Clearly being a 'gem of a guy' or having 'nice thoughts' is just not good enough.It is good to be manage the rajus or india family scions, but not US new media bosses.You have to demonstrate non cookie cutter vision,understanding of domain and tech.

    Long overdue. Yahoo's miseries in India has been in pipeline for 5 years.Chickens have come home to roost.

    What they need is someone who can set out a clear vision -push the envelope as to the brand.And if that means how to outflank Google or the all to confused networks,etc then tha is waht is required Bold strategies.Not stagnant 'hindu rate of growth' revenue strategies.
    sandeep

  11. nothing to say

    Hi,

    Best wishes to GZ. Somewhere surely he himself is responsible of his own fall at Yahoo. One being getting guys from Sify — but then isint it a practice every where. Yes the only thing was some of them were not that good. Rustom Irani was CTO of Yahoo India but was also managing Internet Products– big mistake.

    Now its going to be kingdom for Paresh and his family. Paresh Anthapur, COO of Yahoo! India R&D;has recently shifted from US to India. He has smartly managed to get his wife Aparna as Director Content — now what would you say to this. Besides she has no background and knowledge to internet industry.

    In all this fuss real good gems like Rishi, Sandeep and Swami are all going to loose their charm. Its crow that are managing show at Yahoo India.

    Keith bhai — if you want a real picture speak to all those who has been assocated with Yahoo India in last 3 years.

    Yahoo India is now a political battlefield.

  12. Well guys, best is to wish GZ good luck, and hopefuly he has learnt a lesson or two. The big one being u cant fool all the people all the time…..Good luck Georgie and next time go easy when u say I am choosy who I work with. The professionals always see thru the sychop's..go in peace amigo…and discover peace..

  13. Some people say that Dr Abdul Kalam was the people's president. But in the last 5 years he couldn't much( APart from sharing his vision 2020 to the citizens of this country). People should realise their responsibilities and work.

    I feel sorry for Dr.Kalam and Mr.George.

  14. Rakesh Mathur

    George is an extremely composed , intelligent Leader. One mistake that he's done is to carry all those lazy bums from sify along with him.
    Under his leadership,Yahoo launched many revenue earning features and remember, he roped in the President of the country to endorse "Yahoo Answers"
    We admire you George ! and you'll do well in your entreupreneral initiative too ! Now, since you've learnt a lesson..stop carrying "burden" with you :P

  15. what was George's strategy for Yahoo India? I believe no one in Yahoo ever got to know about it in the close to two years he was with Yahoo. Maybe it was to turn yahoo india into a sify! which he managed well.

  16. abhishek

    Hey Jason i totally agree with you ..I think good people who have contributed alot in the Indian Internet Industry are being framed wrongly and think its high time people atleast showed some respect to a great person like George. With regards to Porching people i think it is a common in all Industries especially when you prefer working with the best in the Industry and trustworhty people being a part of your team.George you have be an Inspiration to many people and we will always respect you no what those jealous and non understanding people have to say as we undertand your contribution in the Indian Internet Space

  17. hey guys i think you guys need to wake up to reality man…its very easy to talk negative abt somebody..george is a big asset to the internet industry. he is definately a gem of a person with great knowledge of the industry ..in whatever short span that he was at yahoo he made a lot of difference. its easy to write abt negatives…he has a tremendous track record and a very very humble person…i think yahoo is a big looser in this…they could not recognise his potential at all.. george is still the best and a great person. the fact is he has never ever thought bad abt anyone and always motivated people to give their best. George ure the BEST.

  18. This was to come – George was a carefully self made pretender..At Sify there was notjhing to show up, but that he just managed the raju's, life after all is not a coat, spoke or bespoke…

  19. Common Man

    George is a Gem of the person. People who have worked closely with him has always have high regards for him.

    More than anything he's a great human being.

  20. Long Time Listner Repeat Calle

    Good Luck to Zeorge .

    but one Q :
    is it ethical to spearhead an acquisition when you are planing to leave your company few months down the line ?
    Yes i am talking about Tyroo.

  21. I guess, George Zac has fallen for the Reorg. Yahoo had undertaken some months back. Yahoo India though is on top, but George i guess got into a mess with Legal issues with Sify on Poaching. I understand Sify has sued Yahoo in the US courts for the same. wish him the Very best in the new Venture ! There is also a Talk he may join the Retail business as he has come in from there in 2000 ! Retail is the only industry that may afford him a $1M Per annum ?