Executive Changes at Yahoo, Google

Includes: GOOG, YHOO
by: Seth Gilbert

For years, Yahoo’s (NASDAQ:YHOO) Ian Rogers has been among the most respected executives straddling the fence between tech and the music industry. In overseeing Yahoo’s digital music enterprises, he built a reputation for championing the interests of music fans and for being incredibly candid (especially in his outspoken critique of DRM encryption). Given that shoot from the hip style, it’s no surprise that he began a recent personal blog entry with the phrase, “I may as well set the record straight.”

Turns out, after a long run, he’s letting go of the wheel at Yahoo and leaving to take a new job driving startup company Topspin Media. Along with founders Peter Gotcher and Shamal Ranasinghe, they’re setting out to build something (it’s in “stealth” mode) to help “artists earn a living through software.”

New Pres for Lucas Arts
In other executive shakeups, Wednesday Lucas Arts named Darrel Rodriguez as their new president. In the new role, he’ll fill the void left by the surprise departure of longtime Lucas Arts exec Jim Ward who left suddenly two months ago. Rodriguez will start mid month. Before taking the role, he was heading operations, product development and strategic growth at EA’s (ERTS) LA Studio. His official role with EA was CEO of Electronic Arts LA.

CIO Exit from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)
After about 5 years on the job, well regarded Google CIO Doug Merrill is joining the growing list of departing senior Googlers. April 28th he’ll join recently privatized Big 4 music label EMI out of LA in the role of President, Digital Business.