This isn’t news within Yahoo but it hasn’t been publicized … Yahoo has confirmed that Bill Demas, SVP-Yahoo Publishing Network Group, is leaving at the end of November. He decided to leave last quarter “to pursue his goal of leading a small company or venture,” according to Yahoo spokeswoman Kristen Wareham, but stayed on “to ensure a smooth transition for our internal teams and our customers.” Wareham added in her e-mail statement: “Yahoo! remains strongly committed to off-network distribution and will continue to support our publisher efforts with the leadership and resources necessary for success.” Demas joined Yahoo as part of the Overture acquisition in 2003.
Not confirmed by Yahoo yet Also confirmed by Yahoo — Will Johnson, VP and GM, YPN, is leaving as well. (More details below.)
— Both are on a ValleyWag guess list of execs to be “booted” but nothing I have learned suggests they are being forced out. There has been criticism for not closing big ad search deals like Fox Interactive, Facebook, etc., but the responsibility likely would be higher up in a centralized environment like Yahoo.
One hope I’ve heard expressed at Yahoo is for a re-org that would reduce the centralized focus and create groups that cut across silos like the new classifieds/listings unit Yahoo Marketplace headed by Hilary Schneider. Yahoo Chairman and CEO Terry Semel is under pressure to push the company towards nimble and responsive — and away from bottleneck.
Update: Yahoo on Johnson’s departure as leader of the YPN beta: “While we appreciate his contribution to the beta, we are fortunate to have a strong management team dedicated to continue to lead our Yahoo Publisher Network efforts. Josh Siegel will continue to lead business operations for the beta program and work with the YPN product, tech and acquisition leads to drive the program forward. Yahoo remains strongly committed to off-network distribution, and a key part of that is the YPN beta program.”