Blog Post

Coming Soon, Yet Another Re-Org at Yahoo

Updated: Given the number of re-orgs that have taken place at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet company Yahoo (s YHOO) in recent months, one could be forgiven for dubbing it “Re-org Nation.” But while many of these shakeups — all part of a larger game of musical chairs, really — were on Jerry Yang’s watch, even though he’s since left, we haven’t seen the last of them yet.

My sources are telling me that the company is close to announcing yet another re-org, one that will divide Yahoo into two distinct groups. The first is a product & engineering division that will be spearheaded by Ari Balogh, currently chief technology officer of the company. Hillary Schneider, executive VP at Yahoo, is rumored to be the one slated to run the second one, which is generically being referred to as the business division. The rationale behind this forthcoming shakeup is that it will give Yahoo a more united front.

Update: The rumors of this re-org were first reported by Kara Swisher of AllThingsD blog. A recent check of Yahoo management bios shows that Ari has now “product” responsibilities and Hillary is responsible for North America, though the company hasn’t made any formal announcements. I guess it would be part of something that is coming down the pike.

As part of the changes to come, there will be several changes at Yahoo, many impacting the middle tier of Yahoo’s management. For instance, Steve Schultz, currently general manage of Yahoo Real Estate and Yahoo Health will be taking care of the all important Yahoo Finance business. According to some reports published on April 15, Yahoo is going to cut a few hundred employees.

Yahoo’s biggest challenge has been an inability to act as a single entity; historically, most product groups led by general managers have become “silos” with a “to each its own” mentality. What do you guys think — will this re-org help Yahoo or create another layer for an already overly complex company?

15 Responses to “Coming Soon, Yet Another Re-Org at Yahoo”

  1. Yahoo should layoff everyone in customer support. I know, shocking to hear they actually have support. Well they do, and they are NOT at all helpful (the service rep even admitted it).

  2. Yahoo has great technology, a broad range of Internet related offerings, good aggregation of content from all over the web, API and tools to give anyone access to this data, but their problem is that no one “knows” about it. Not only that, a visit to their sites(there are soo many) will show how cluttered their content is. They need to return to simple times.

    Offer the same products, keep it clean and dedicate pages to whatever functionality that page is supposed to be selling.

    Right now whenever you hit a yahoo page, you are told about everything they do. Not good, very confusing.

    Google is doing it right. Amazon is slipping the way of yahoo.

    Everyone likes clean.

  3. bigtoes

    Microsoft was blessed again. They were lucky and Yang & associates are kicking themselves. MSFT will probably wait until Yahoo becomes junk since yahoo was heading downwards even before they lost the search biz to Google.

  4. A cynic could quickly point out that this structure seems like an attempt for a mature company with employees in the five figures trying to pretend it is 1995 again.

  5. I personally experienced this “experiment” at AOL a few years back; having separate organizational P&L and goals never works; if it happens, nothing meaningful will ever ship. There will be plenty of meetings though. ‘nough said

  6. whopies

    yahoos don’t even bother finishing the reorg emails anymore, no one cares who will be spending the next eight weeks as their boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss. and why should they?

    bartz’s tough talk is being followed up with a hectic flurry of inaction.

  7. GMs all focused on designing great individual experiences are what give you a chance at winning mindshare and loyalty because they focus on the needs consumers have in each category. When you take away that focus, organizationally, you take away the ability to compete. What does it mean to run a “business” if you don’t have control over the engineering and the product experience. I don’t see how the org structure is set up to serve users or P&L discipline.