Updated: Yahoo Exec Spec Swirling Again; Weiner Returning From Paternity Leave But Will He Stay?

Jeff Weiner, Yahoo, At our EconSM 2008 conferenceIt’s Yahoo’s (NSDQ: YHOO) version of the plagues — Carl Icahn, shareholder lawsuits, another round of speculation about top-level execs and a report that a major internal announcement is on tap Wednesday.

Once again, the fate of Jeff Weiner, due back Monday after a month of paternity leave, leads the exec spec list with Kara Swisher at AllThingsD suggesting that the network division EVP’s patience for the drama at Yahoo has worn thin. Weiner could be tempted by a VC offer to become an executive in residence, for instance. But we’re being cautioned from within Yahoo not to leap to conclusions — that it wouldn’t be shocking if he decides to ratchet back and get some more family time or if he feels like the leave offered enough of a break to merit sticking around.

A decision to leave likely would set another batch of dominoes in motion. The current set-up — a mix of media (Scott Moore), communities and communications (Brad Garlinghouse), platform (Tapan Bhat), and search (Vish Makhijani) — is designed for him to lead and whether the structure would remain the same without him is a big question mark. Equally big: who would replace him if it does? Then again, it could all be moot.

As for the report that a major internal announcement is coming Wednesday, as far as I know there’s no all-hands meeting scheduled and, if there is an announcement, it’s not about Weiner.

I interviewed Weiner in April at our second EconSM conference. (Kara chimed in from the audience.) The writeup of that interview is here, and the video is embedded after the jump…

Update: Kara reports that he’s likely to wind up splitting his time as an executive in residence at two firms seeded with former Yahoos


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