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Summary:

More upheaval in the upper ranks of Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) ‘smobile division. The company’s VP of mobile business development, Michael Shim, wil…

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More upheaval in the upper ranks of Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) ‘smobile division. The company’s VP of mobile business development, Michael Shim, will be leaving the company and joining Groupon to help the daily deals site sharpen its focus on the mobile market.

The news was first reported by AllThingsD and we have confirmed it directly with Yahoo.

Shim had been one of the main people responsible for Yahoo’s carrier and device maker relations — Yahoo relies on deals with them to preload Yahoo links and services on to devices and make it the default search engine on mobile web browsers. At Groupon, writes ATD, he will also be working on partnerships to help the deals site extend its mobile presence.

Yahoo said that Raymond Stern, the SVP of business development for Yahoo, will assume Shim’s duties.

It is unclear at this point whether Stern’s assumption of those responsibilities is an interim or permanent arrangement, as part of a wider workforce reduction currently underway at the company. Yahoo announced in December that it would be laying off four percent of its staff, and this week it emerged another one percent would go.

Mobile is one of Yahoo’s spinning plates that has definitely seen some wobbles. In the key area of mobile advertising — Yahoo’s main reason for being involved with mobile in the first place — IDC notes that Yahoo is losing market share, even as the overall market for mobile ads has grown.

Yahoo last March totally reorganised its mobile operation, redeploying people into different product groups. In the wake of that, there have been a number of executive departures. They have included David Ko, who had been the company’s SVP of mobile, audience and local, who left for social gaming giant Zynga in October; and Mitch Lazar, who had been Yahoo Mobile general manager until last March. He’s now the CEO of mobile search engine Taptu.

On the Groupon side of things, this is another sign of how ambitious the company is to move its daily-deals model further into mobile services. He will report to Mihir Shah, Groupon’s VP of mobile.

  1. Raymond, make Michael regret leaving Yahoo!
    The new mobile social media must: blend with the consumers’ real-life activities; respect their privacy; enhance shared experiences; and offer new and improved features to capitalize on existing behaviors, such as texting and IM.
    The best and most effective mobile marketing will tell a story, keep the conversations real, bring people together, create shared experiences around the brand’s story, and deliver these results.

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  2. Velti’s flotation only goes to show what active space we operate in – it’s obviously an extremely interesting time to be in mobile marketing. While much of the press and analysts’ attention has been focused on display advertising networks, it is important to realize that the companies which will attract future M&A interest will be those that have genuine effectiveness as their focus. In the past, the industry has perhaps been guilty of placing too much emphasis on quantity rather than quality – looking at “reach” or how many impressions a mobile marketing company can deliver rather than how effective or profitable those impressions are. In the future, I would expect companies with a more generalist focus to attract less interest, and those with a specific, profitable and proven solution to take precedence.

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