"Yahoo! Realigns to Support Core Strategies”. A Sweet Word for 'Management Reshuffle'!

Jun 27, 2008 | 1,612 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Last week I had informed my readers about the departure of three top Yahoo! Executives, including the Yahoo! VP for Networks Division, Mr. Jeff Weiner followed by founders of Flickr Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake leaving Yahoo!.

Now Yahoo has officially announced the restructuring of their organization and given it a fancy name of “Realignment to Support Core Strategies.” The empty position of Senior Vice President that was once occupied by Brad Garlinghouse will now be replaced by Scott Dietzen (CTO, Zimbra).

In June 2007, Terry Semel stepped down as the CEO of Yahoo! and was replaced by Jerry Yang and Sue Decker came in as the President of Yahoo!. Now, around the same time this year, Yahoo! has announced yet another major reshuffle in its management, thus creating more doubts about its operational proficiency.

The new changes in the Yahoo! Management are as under:

  1. Ash Patel of Platforms & Infrastructure will be leading Audience Products Division, that is a product strategy and product management for all Yahoo! Products.
  2. Hilary Schneider will head go-to market activity in the US. She previously headed up the company’s Global Partner Solutions unit. Scott Moore, head of Yahoo! Media Group, will report to her.
  3. Insights Strategy team leader is yet to decided who would have the responsibilities of centralizing and executing a common strategy for the use of data and analysis across Yahoo!.

Under the able leadership of Chief Technical Officer (CTO), the following changes have been made:

  1. Venkat Panchapakesan will lead new Audience Technology Group, including consumer-facing platforms.
  2. Prabhakar Raghavan will head search strategy.
  3. Tuoc Luong is the interim leader of the search product team.
  4. David Ku will head the advertising product team, which is within search.

This is the Yahoo! Official release about the new Management:

Yahoo! Announces Realignment to Support Core Strategies
Thursday June 26, 1:44 pm ET

Centralizes Audience Product Development; Forms New U.S. Region;

Realigns Technology Organization

SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO – News), a leading global Internet company, today announced changes to its organization aimed at improving its products, technologies and execution. The moves support its strategy to be the starting point for the most users, the must-buy for the most advertisers and the platform of choice for developers.

Key elements Yahoo! announced are the centralization of consumer product development to enhance the company’s ability to release products worldwide; the creation of a U.S. region focused on bringing products to market for users, advertisers and publishers; formation of an insights strategy team; and enhancements to the technology infrastructure to optimize the use of data and improve coordination between product and engineering teams.

“These moves accelerate the ability of our deep and talented team to build great products, grow our audiences and improve monetization globally,” said Jerry Yang, CEO. “They are designed to put us in an even better position to leverage our leading global audience and capture the opportunity we see in the convergence of search and display advertising.”

Business and Product Changes

The company is creating three new teams that will report to President Sue Decker. An Audience Products Division will assume responsibility for companywide product strategy and product management. It will be led by Ash Patel who previously managed the company’s Platforms & Infrastructure group. A U.S. region with accountability for all go-to-market activity in the U.S. will be led by Hilary Schneider, who previously headed the company’s Global Partner Solutions group. Finally, an Insights Strategy team will assume responsibility for centralizing and executing a common strategy for the use of data and analysis across Yahoo!. The company plans to name this group’s leader within the next few weeks.

“The changes we’re making today will help deliver superior global products for users and enable faster and better decision-making,” said President Sue Decker. “This is a logical next step in light of our success last year in moving to a more centralized approach to developing world-class marketing products. We have planned these changes deliberately over the past several months to clarify responsibilities and to capitalize on the scale advantages while allowing for fine tuning to meet local market needs.”

Technology and Infrastructure Changes

Yahoo! is making changes to its technology organization, led by Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh, to better position the company to execute on its strategic priorities. Principal changes are developing a world-class cloud computing and storage infrastructure; rewiring Yahoo! onto common platforms; and creating a stronger partnership between product and engineering teams.

“Since my arrival at Yahoo! earlier this year, we’ve carefully evaluated the best possible configuration of our technology group to support our business strategies,” said Balogh. “I’m excited by the depth of our team which—combined with the talent we continue to recruit—will execute even better under this new structure.”

In order to expand its cloud computing capabilities, the Company will form a Cloud Computing & Data Infrastructure Group, charged with developing a computing infrastructure that balances scalability with cost effectiveness. It will move all consumer-facing platform teams to the Audience Technology Group, led by Venkat Panchapakesan. In addition, it is putting new leadership in place behind Yahoo!’s search group, naming Prabhakar Raghavan to direct search strategy and Tuoc Luong as the interim leader of the search product team. Both Prabhakar and Tuoc will also continue in their roles as the leaders of Yahoo! Research and Search Engineering respectively. In addition, David Ku will lead the Advertising Technology Group within Search.

Yahoo!’s Marketing Products Division, Connected Life and Corporate Marketing groups will continue to operate as they do today.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning Yahoo!’s projected financial performance (including without limitation the statements and information in the quotations from management in this press release), as well as Yahoo!’s strategic and operational plans. Actual results may differ materially from those described in this release due to a number of risks and uncertainties. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the implementation and results of Yahoo!’s ongoing strategic initiatives; the impact of organizational changes; Yahoo!’s ability to compete with new or existing competitors; reduction in spending by, or loss of, marketing services customers; the demand by customers for Yahoo!’s premium services; acceptance by users of new products and services; risks related to joint ventures and the integration of acquisitions; risks related to Yahoo!’s international operations; failure to manage growth and diversification; adverse results in litigation, including intellectual property infringement claims; Yahoo!’s ability to protect its intellectual property and the value of its brands; dependence on key personnel; dependence on third parties for technology, services, content and distribution; general economic conditions and changes in economic conditions; and potential continuing uncertainty arising in connection with the withdrawal of Microsoft’s unsolicited proposal to acquire Yahoo! and the announced intention by a stockholder to seek control of our Board of Directors, the possibility that Microsoft or another person may in the future make another proposal, or take other actions which may create uncertainty for our employees, publishers, advertisers and other business partners, and the possibility of significant costs of defense, indemnification and liability resulting from stockholder litigation relating to the Microsoft proposal. More information about potential factors that could affect Yahoo!’s business and financial results is included under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Yahoo!’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007, as amended, and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2008, which are on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and available at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. All information in this press release is as of June 26, 2008, unless otherwise noted, and Yahoo! does not intend, and undertakes no duty, to update or otherwise revise the information contained in this press release.

About Yahoo! Inc.

Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo! is focused on powering its communities of users, advertisers, publishers, and developers by creating indispensable experiences built on trust. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

Yahoo! and the Yahoo! logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Yahoo! Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

4.thumbnail Yahoo! Realigns to Support Core Strategies”. A Sweet Word for Management Reshuffle!

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Yahoo! Realigns to Support Core Strategies”. A Sweet Word for Management Reshuffle!
4.thumbnail Yahoo! Realigns to Support Core Strategies”. A Sweet Word for Management Reshuffle!