Interview: Yahoo’s Schneider And Moore On Reorg: ‘The Changes Are Larger Than Any One Individual’

1 Comment

imageimage (with David Kaplan) Yahoo’s (NSDQ: YHOO) new U.S. head Hilary Schneider and her new direct report Scott Moore spent some time on the phone with paidContent this afternoon in full it’s-all-good mode as they explained their takes on the latest reorganization. Schneider, who joined Yahoo from Knight Ridder in fall 2006 and has been heading ad-centric Global Partner Solutions, is among the big winners in this round of Yahoo power lotto, gaining responsibility for all go-to-market products — including the content produced by the Yahoo Media Group — and reporting directly to Yahoo president Sue Decker. Moore, who doesn’t admit to being high on last week’s list of possible departing execs, says he thinks this latest structure makes sense and he’s in for the duration. (No definition of duration.) Both insist these changes are months in the making and that they weren’t affected by the spate of departures that includes Moore’s current boss Jeff Weiner. Schneider: “This didn’t come together overnight. It’s not a response to anything short-term.” Some excerpts:

The reorg phase: Although Yahoo has gone through various reorganizations in recent years, Schneider said that this is the big one, saying that companies like this one have different stages of adjustment. More after the jump…

The first typical phase for an internet company is just about “getting big,” then comes the product development stage. Now, Yahoo is in the third phase, which is all about figuring out how to ensure they’re delivering on its scale and its products. Schneider: “We started on the ad side by bringing all the elements together and this is about thinking what we should build next. If you look at products like AMP and the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium, aligning groups on a regional basis and putting media together with marketing makes a lot of sense. We’re trying to take the same approach on the consumer side, where we can drive the same acceleration as on the advertiser side across specific regions.” She described it as a “natural evolution.”

U.S.-centric: Moore: “The reality is the group that I manage is almost entirely focused on U.S. audiences. … The big change is with the the media suite that is going into the global group. The advantage of the media group focusing on the US — most of the audience is in the US and most of the business there. This is the largest market in the world. We’re already number one in most audience categories and we can leverage that by working more closely together.”

Executive drain?: Schneider said the reorg was not a response to departures of the past few weeks, most notably Weiner. Schneider: “This is about eliminating silos and working more closely across the consumer and advertiser side.” Asked if the changes didn’t include Weiner, Schneider repeated that the plans were in the works for months and that the reorg is larger than any particular individual. Specifically, she said it was not a reaction to Weiner’s leaving. But with the spate of executive exits in the past few weeks, is Yahoo concerned about the brain-drain aura and are they having a tough time keeping talent and attracting new blood? Not at all, said Schneider: “We’ve got very strong talent and we continue to hire top talent in all parts of the organization.” She described the departures as the “normal course of business.” (Update: Sources at Yahoo confirm that conversations about changes had been going on for at least a couple of months but the planning that resulted in this org chart came after Weiner removed himself from the equation, telling Decker that he was considering a move and then that he was leaving. As previously reported, Weiner is taking the summer to be with his family and then working with Accel and Greylock as an EIR.)

Working together: (It was only a few months ago that we interviewed Moore and Weiner about working together as Moore added Vince Broady’s entertainment portfolio last December. Hard not to have a little deja vu.) Moore: “To have Hilary’s group, which serves the advertisers, and merge it with mine, which is focused on consumers, is the right thing to do. Schneider added: “It’s a Vulcan Mind-Meld.”

Newspaper Consortium: Schneider said there shouldn’t be much impact on Yahoo’s newspaper alliance from the reorg: “We remain laser-focused and this further aligns the marketing activity around it. As we look at the consortium in general, we’re very confident, especially with HotJobs. Looking at local advertising online, which is supposed to grow over the next few years.”

Mobile advertising: The reorg shouldn’t affect Connected Life, the company’s mobile services unit. Schneider: “Marco Boerries will continue to drive the strategy and execution for Connected Life on a global basis. However, we are the U.S. sales force for mobile advertising and we will partner with them on mobile efforts. From a content perspective, Scott’s organization is the engine for that side of the experience.”

1 Comment

Comments are closed.