Losses at Yahoo are mounting
as well. Among the most recent additions to the departure list are Brad
Garlinghouse, famous for his "Peanut Butter Manifesto" memo which
demanded the company make a radical change of course; Vish Makhijani, general
manager of Yahoo's Web search business; and Qi Lu, head engineer of Yahoo's
Panama search marketing platform
Yahoo President Sue Decker announced in the Wall
Street Journal that she plans to lead a company-wide reorganization of the
embattled corporation. Details on the reorganization are unclear, but it
seems that it may require some positions and jobs being sent overseas as Decker
states that a primary focus is providing services that appeal internationally
and to centralize the accounting for such services.
The new global products group, which she will be creating, is likely going to
be led by Executive Vice President Ash Patel. The site AllThingsD reported
that he already got the position. According to the site, much of the
networks division, currently under the departed Jeff Weiner, will be shifted to
the new division. This will include the search, mail, instant messenger,
front page, platforms and social networking sections.
The sections, according to the report will be managed out of Yahoo HQ in
Sunnyvale, Calif. This shake-up could help to explain why communities SVP
Brad Garlinghouse and Search SVP Vish Makhijani are leaving the company.
Front Door head Tapan Bhat, whose section will also be folded into global
products is also considering an exit, stating that he is weighing his
options. According to one insider, some of the executives would rather
quit than work with Patel, who is not popular. The anonymous executive
stated, "No one wants to report up through him. He’s a Yahoo lifer
and not the kind of dynamic leader we need."
In a slightly better received move, Global Partner Solutions EVP Hilary
Schneider will now extend her oversight over the entire U.S. region. She
will be equal in position to Patel and report only to Decker. The Yahoo
Media Group under Scott Moore, who was formerly under Weiner, will now shift to
Moore, a former Microsoft executive, is satisfied with the move, especially
since he may be getting some new organizations. However there are also
reports that he is looking for startup capital, a warning sign that he might
jump ship as well. Some fear Schneider is too nice to do the job.
Says one anonymous source, "There is lot on her plate and, while she is
good at the business side, she is not a products person."
The shakeups will include a number of other moves, but suffice to say that if
early speculation holds true, virtually the entire company will experience
shifts in leadership. Many employees aren't happy about this. "I
am not sure right now, with all this drama and all this tension from
Microsoft’s failed takeover and the rest of it, why we have to do this.
This feels crazy," said one executive.
Strangest of all, some say, is that Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang has been nowhere to be
seen during the reorganization talks. Yang, who would likely
be ousted in the case of an Icahn takeover, has let Decker almost entirely
lead the efforts. One executive states, "Where’s Jerry here? He is
like a ghost. It is nerve-wracking."
Yahoo's moves clearly strike as a desperate attempt to change course.
Their effects remain to be seen, but one disturbing trouble sign is the large
amount of criticism about the moves coming from Yahoo's own leadership.
If this continues, it would not be surprising to see more departures in store
in coming weeks.