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Yahoo CEO's top lieutenant departs after only 15 months at the company

SAN FRANCISCO--Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is cutting loose her top lieutenant in a possible sign that the Internet company's efforts to revive its long-slumping advertising sales aren't paying off.

Wednesday's surprise announcement of the departure of Yahoo's chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, represents a setback for Mayer, who signed him to a US$58 million deal just 15 months ago to help her lure more advertisers to a company that has been struggling to compete against Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. in the race for online marketing dollars.

Yahoo Inc. declined to comment on the reasons for de Castro's abrupt exit. Mayer didn't name his replacement.

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