Star New York Times tech columnist David Pogue is leaving his cushy gig “to help build a new consumer-tech site” for Yahoo, he announced today, albeit a bit self-consciously. “Now, listen: I realize that Yahoo is an underdog,” he wrote on his (Yahoo-owned) Tumblr. “I’ve given them a few swift kicks myself over the years.” (A somewhat cursory search of his archives turned up two dismissive tweets and the time he referred to Yahoo’s “inferior search skills” in 2008.) “But over the last few months, as I’ve pondered this offer, I’ve visited Yahoo headquarters. I’ve spent a lot of time with its executives. And what I found surprised me,” he insisted. “This is a company that’s young, revitalized, aggressive — and, under Marissa Mayer’s leadership, razor-focused, for the first time in years.”
Pogue’s thirteen-year tenure at the Times was not without its bumps: He’s been hit repeatedly for potential conflicts of interest and accused of going soft on mega-companies like Apple (in addition to reviewing their products, he’s written user guides for those same products). And there was also the messy domestic-abuse incident in which he allegedly hit his ex-wife with an iPhone. (Pogue later remarried a tech PR exec after an elaborate viral proposal video.)
At Yahoo, he says, “I’ll be writing columns and blog posts each week, of course, and making my goofy videos,” but the extracurriculars will continue as well. “I’ll still keep up my NOVA specials on PBS, my CBS Sunday Morning stories, my Missing Manual books, and my Scientific American column.” The man is a brand, and Yahoo could use some of that mass appeal.