Skype Chief Development Officer Resigns

TechCrunch announced today that Madhu Yarlagadda, Skype’s incoming Chief Development Officer, has resigned from his position. Mr. Yarlagadda’s resignation comes one month after negative comments about him as well as his subsequent influence upons other to obtain positive comments on a TechCrunch post were brought to his employer’s attention.

The New York Times says he left after scathing comments on TechCrunch about his new role at Skype came to the attention of Skype executives. The post they’re referring to has dozens of extremely detailed negative comments about Yarlagadda, although we’ve deleted the worst of them. That level of uniform negativity was unprecedented in our experience.

Because Mr. Yarlagadda’s wife threatened legal action against TechCrunch for not moderating the scathing comments made against her husband, TechCrunch reached out to Skype for a position statement. This may have then caused Skype to re-think their decision about hiring Mr. Yarlagadda.

Per the New York Times, “The comments caught the attention of Skype executives who became concerned about their new hire, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak with the news media.” AP News briefly stated that Mr. Yarlagadda left Skype due to “personal reasons” per a company spokeswoman.

What it comes down to is that opinions are like…noses. Everybody’s got one and no one can control what people say, particularly when they are sitting behind the safety of a monitor and keyboard. The best way I’ve found to deal with such “noses” is to not react. At best, reacting gets you nowhere and at worst it can make you go backwards (i.e. losing your job). Perhaps a quiet request to TechCrunch to assist would have gotten Mr. and Mrs. Yarlagadda further along and let them move past the vitriol. But we’ll never know.

Either way, Mr. Yarlagadda is out of a job. And, as Mike Arrington said, “It’s just a bad situation all around..”