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Some days it seems like Yahoo’s (NSDQ: YHOO) org charts might as well be done on an Etch A Sketch. As Kara Swisher has been reporting and as I am also told, the matter of Jeff Weiner’s departure as head of the network division is much more of a “when” and “how” than an “if” at this point. Weiner’s departure has been rumored many times in the past, most notably when the company restructured in late 2006 and when Terry Semel, who brought him to Yahoo, was ousted last year and each time was met with swift denials. Not so this time around.
So what happens next? Lots more after the jump…
I suggested here earlier this week the very idea that the current structure that would remain in place is a big question mark. I’m even more convinced now that we’re about to see another twist of the Etch A Sketch wheels with, as Kara says, Global Partner Solutions EVP Hilary Schneider gaining more power and adding responsibility for products to her revenue role. None of Weiner’s direct reports are likely to be made EVP with his level and breadth of responsibility. So what happens to Scott Moore (media group), Vish Makhijani (search), Brad Garlinghouse (communities and communications) and Tapan Bhat (front door and network services)? Moore, who survived the departure of Lloyd Braun, could get even more responsibility but most likely as a report to Schneider. But will she get all of them or will those groups even stay intact as is?
Whatever the decision, it appears it will undo a fair amount of the thinking that went into the earlier re-orgs done with Sue Decker’s input — some made while Semel was still there and most recently with Jerry Yang as CEO. A lot of effort went into separating product from sales and a return to that would suggest that the previous efforts didn’t work out. Schneider has benefited from this kind of re-org rollback before: when Decker first became president, she removed the division management layer only to reinstate it months later and elevate Schneider to what essentially was the role she had before Semel left.
We’ll have more on this to be sure.
A couple of noteworthy confirmed departures: Jason Zajac, who worked directly for Weiner as VP – corporate strategy, told colleagues this week he’s leaving for Hewlett Packard. His last day is Friday and then he’ll be VP/GM of Worldwide Attach Group. Also, tech evangelist Jeremy Zawodny, a vet of 8.5 years, confirmed today that he is leaving in the next few weeks for an opportunity with a much smaller company. From his blog: “As for the future of Yahoo, everyone working at Yahoo today knows in their gut what Yahoo should be and needs to be. My advice is to work on making that happen. Don’t let anyone else (inside or outside the company) try to tell you what Yahoo is. Trust your gut. … And, by all means, don’t take the stuff you read in the press at face value.”
Updated: NYT also reports that Usama Fayyad, chief data officer and EVP of research and strategic data solutions, is also leaving. Fayyad told his staff yesterday..he was the data guru at Yahoo, and also in charge of Yahoo