Talking tech since 2003

This year there were a number of high-profile tech executives who made some moves or were forced to move out. It’s always big news when executives depart a company, especially for those who have been at a company for quite some time or in some cases a very short period of time.

Let’s examine 2012’s biggest tech executive departures and arrivals.

Marissa Mayer (Google/Yahoo) — Perhaps the biggest departure and arrival in 2012 was Marissa Mayer. The top Google-exec who left the Mountain View firm and headed over to Sunnyvale to join Yahoo as the CEO. And boy has she has been busy trying to turn the company around. She fired many other top Yahoo executives and brought in her own people, and just brought Paypal co-founder Max Levchin into the board room.

Bret Taylor (Facebook) — Back in June, just after Facebook’s massive IPO, Bret Taylor announced he was leaving the company to focus on building a startup. Bret Taylor joined Facebook, after his company, Friendfeed was acquired the social media giant back in 2009. So far, Taylor has yet to be replaced.

Scott Forstall (Apple) — In late October, after the Apple Maps embarrassment where Tim Cook issued an apology to customers, it was reported that Scott Forstall refused to sign the apology even though he was the SVP of iOS. This refusal to sign apparently lead to his ultimate firing by Cook. Craig Federighi now leads both OS X and iOS.

Steven Sinofsky (Microsoft) — In November, it was announced that Steven Sinofsky, the President of the Windows division at Microsoft would be leaving the company. Reports stated him leaving Microsoft was a mutual agreement between Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer. Whether you believe that or not, one thing is clear about the Sinofsky departure — it was the perfect time to do it. He has been replaced by Julie Larson-Green, a long-time Microsoft engineer.

Scott Thompson (Yahoo) — After it was learned he fudged his resume in which he claimed he had a degree in accounting and computer science when in reality he just had a degree in accounting, Scott Thompson was forced out of Yahoo and ultimately replaced by Marissa Mayer. Scott Thompson is currently the CEO of online shopping service ShopRunner.

John Browett (Apple) — Just as quickly as he joined Apple in early 2012 as the SVP of Retail, it was announced in late October that John Browett would be leaving Apple. He has yet to be replaced and currently the retail team reports to Tim Cook.

Do you have anyone you think should be added to our list? Leave a comment!


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