Head of Yahoo Video Division to Leave

satishmenonSatish Menon, VP of the Consumer Platforms Group at Yahoo (aka the video platform division, with responsibility for video infrastructure, software and advertising), will soon leave the company, he told us over the weekend.

Menon’s departure comes on the heels of major layoffs — 20 to 25 employees, we’re told — on the Yahoo Video team earlier this month, as well as attrition across that team as video has been de-emphasized. We’ve contacted Yahoo for official comment but have not heard back. Yahoo also would not confirm the number laid off.

Menon, who prior to Yahoo co-founded Kasenna, told us via email that his post-Yahoo plans are to introduce community into online education using online social tools. He did not say if he was joining or starting a specific company, but said he would leave Yahoo “soon.”

“I have been dabbling in video (IPTV, Cable VOD, Enterprise Video, Online Video), since 1994. Time for a change. I am going to apply everything I have learned last 25 years or so to see if we can reinvent education…especially online education.”

It’s unclear why Yahoo has failed at online video, given its tremendous assets. It’s also bizarre timing. With web sites everywhere adding video, why is the world’s top portal seemingly phasing out video development?

Yahoo’s corporate disorganization is storied, but employees associated with the video team keep mentioning an internal hangup about how Yahoo has failed to compete with Hulu. They also say there was a two-year effort to get Yahoo onto a single video player and platform that never got its act together, in part due to changing requirements and demands.

And we hear that Yahoo will be phasing out its $160 million Maven Networks acquisition from last year, which still powers video for sites such as Fox News.

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