Shelby Bonnie made a rocky departure from his post as CNET Networks (NASDAQ:CNET) CEO two months ago, as the company admitted to backdating stock options. Now another CNET executive is moving on. President and COO Barry Briggs announced that he will be stepping down next month.

Briggs came from a publishing background. He worked for Sports Illustrated, Time, and FamilyPC before rising to president at ZDNet. He then became a CNET executive when ZDNet was acquired six years ago.

Briggs took to the online medium right away; he even introduced the interactive messaging unit, which was a major enhancement over the conventional banner ads that were the sponsored norm at the time. The new units improved the recall rate of rich media ads by placing them at the story level.

Briggs will be missed, though CNET's content-rich portfolio of properties seems built to endure any changes at the top.

Briggs' decision to leave, along with the company's decision to leave both positions vacant, may fuel speculation that CNET is back on the bidding block. Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), which has had mixed success in trying to follow CNET into content areas such as consumer technology and cooking, would be an ideal suitor, though we can't dismiss the likes of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) or Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) from any potential takeover talks, given their desire to grab as much billable ad space online as possible. In the third quarter, CNET received a daily average of 86.3 million page views across all of its sites.

This doesn't mean that now is the time for the speculators to pile on. They did exactly that last year at higher prices and got burned. However, CNET has only grown more attractive in a time when paid-search giants keep clawing for virtual real estate.

CNET is an active recommendation in the Rule Breakers growth stock newsletter service. Yahoo! has been singled out to Stock Advisor readers. Microsoft is an Inside Value pick.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of CNET but still misses the old days. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.