Interview: Jeff Dossett, SVP-U.S. Audience, Yahoo: His ‘Next Mount Everest’

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imageAs Jeff Dossett adroitly answered — or non-answered — the questions tossed his way in a hastily arranged interview Monday afternoon after Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) was backed into announcing his new job early, I couldn’t tell which experience helped him more: navigating Mount Everest twice or surviving Microsoft’s office politics. Either way, the new head of Yahoo’s U.S. audience business and successor to Scott Moore knows how to stay on message. At times, he sounded like a Yahoo vet, not someone starting work Nov. 10. Some excerpts: lots more after the jump..

Succeeding Moore: When Dossett first started talking to Yahoo about a move, Moore’s job wasn’t an option. “Hilary Schneider and I, as well as the rest of the team, had been talking about a number of opportunities in the long term, where I could make the greatest contribution and where Yahoo felt it had its most important needs. With Scott Moore’s decision to move on to new opportunities, this particular opportunity emerged recently.” This is where Dossett will start at Yahoo but he’s open about his interest in other roles: “My perspective is a long-term perspective and I think, over time, I hope to have the opportunity to work in a number of different areas in Yahoo.”

Layoffs, cost cutting: Part of the challenge for Dossett will be maintaining or increasing market position with fewer resources but he wasn’t talking numbers or specifics: “Consistent with all of the direction that has been provided by Jerry Yang, Sue Decker and Hilary Schneider, I certainly will be responsible for ensuring our U.S. audience business gets fit and gets focused, as we like to say.”

Committed to Santa Monica?: Would Yahoo Media leave Santa Monica to save money? “I have no specific information on that but I can tell you that I plan to have an office in both Santa Monica and Sunnyvale.”

Why leave *Microsoft* — and why for Yahoo?: “Each individual needs to make a decision about how they want to evolve as a person and a leader. I was looking for a new leadership challenge. … tremendous opportunities across Yahoo. Individuals and teams have been through a fair amount of change over past year

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Greg Thornton

Makes you wonder who else from Microsoft may be going there next.

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