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Yahoo EVP and head of North American operations, Hillary Schneider  (Source: Yahoo)

Yahoo U.S. Audience head, David Ko  (Source: Vietnam Net)

Yahoo Head of Media Jimmy Pitaro  (Source: Forbes)
Issues for struggling search giant continue

Watching Yahoo Inc. over the last several years has been like watching a slowly sinking ship.  Since September 2008 the company has dropped from 9 percent search market share to just over 6.3 percent; in the same time window Google jumped from 80.3 percent to 84.7 percent.  Over the same time period, Yahoo has seen a steady bleed of executives, including Chairman Terry SemelCEO (and co-founder) Jerry Yang, and other lesser executives.

According to a report by Kara Swisher of 
All Things Digital, the company is in for another major round of executive losses.  Ms. Swisher reports that the resignations will include the North American VP Hilary Schneider, U.S. Audience head David Ko, and VP of Media Jimmy Pitaro.

According to the report, Yahoo desperately wants to make the impending departures look like an ouster, but in reality CEO Carol Bartz was begging the departing executives to stay.  Reportedly part of the reason for the departure stems from issues with the company's partnership with Microsoft.  The company brought in former Microsoft Executive Blake Irving as its Vice President and Chief Products Officer, and Mr. Irving in turn brought in many former Microsoft engineers -- a move that clashed with Mr. Ko.

In an emergency board meeting this week, the board reportedly discussed installing a second in command to Carol Bartz, which might take over from her when her 18 month current contract expires.  

That's hardly a vote of confidence, and it's a testament with shareholders' growing frustration with Ms. Bartz's inability to improve the situation and retain talent.  Ms. Bartz has offended some of Yahoo's key partners like Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba with her remarks.  Her failure to prevent talent loss in the top ranks may be the straw that breaks the camel's back, so to speak.

On the other hand if Ms. Bartz leaves the company, Yahoo will have entered on a CEO carousel the likes of which is rarely seen (except at GM).  Yahoo's fundamental problem seems to be that its products -- Yahoo Search, Yahoo Mail, and Yahoo News, to name a few -- are good, but are beat out by superior products in each sector from Google. 

In short, there's many tough questions for Yahoo, and no one seems to have answers.





"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins






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