Qi Lu, Garlinghouse, Makhijani defect

Yahoo’s management ranks are rapidly thinning as the Internet pioneer fends off a shareholder mutiny threatening to culminate in the firing of chief executive and co-founder Jerry Yang.

Three more executives have exited, according to reports Thursday by blogs AllThingsD and Techcrunch and the New York Times. The reports were based on unnamed sources with knowledge of the departures.

Latest defectors reportedly are: Qi Lu, an exec VP in charge of Yahoo’s search and advertising technology; Brad Garlinghouse, a senior VP who oversees communications tools; and Vish Makhijani, a senior VP involved in search. The management turmoil appears related to a reorganization that Yahoo president Susan Decker wants to complete next week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Hilary Schneider, a Yahoo exec VP, could wind up with expanded responsibility in the streamlining, the Journal reported. Yahoo declined to confirm the departures Thursday.Yahoo shares fell 18¢ Thursday to close at $22.73.

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