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December 6, 2006

Yahoo rearranges the deck chairs

Posted by David Hunter at 9:45 AM ET.

Yahoo is a key competitor to Microsoft’s Web aspirations so yesterday’s shuffle of the executive suite has some bearing:

Yahoo said Tuesday that it was restructuring its operations and shuffling its management ranks amid growing criticism in and outside the company that it had become too bureaucratic to compete effectively against nimbler rivals.

The moves include the departure of Daniel L. Rosensweig, the chief operating officer since April 2003, and the resignation of Lloyd Braun, the former ABC executive who has run Yahoo’s media group.

Under the plan, Yahoo will reorganize itself into three operating units, including one focused on its audience and one on its advertisers and publishers. A third unit, focused on technology, will develop products serving the entire organization.

The reorganization appears to signal the ascendancy of Susan L. Decker, the chief financial officer, a well-regarded executive whose responsibilities were recently expanded to include autos, classifieds, HotJobs, shopping, travel and other Yahoo products. She will now head the advertiser and publisher group.

As for exactly what the new groups will do:

The new Audience Group will oversee search, media, communities and communications. An executive search has been launched for an executive to lead the group. The new Advertiser & Publisher Group will combine marketing, sales and distribution partners to create a global advertising network. The new Technology Group, headed by Chief Technology Officer Farzad Nazem, will tighten product engineering integration, help build new social media environments and speed up development of next-generation ad platforms, the company said in a statement late Tuesday.

Reactions range from the mildly laudatory to the mildly critical with the general feeling being that Yahoo had to do something, but uncertainty as to whether this was it. The official Yahoo statement is here.

Filed under Coopetition, Microsoft, Yahoo

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