After Yahoo laid off much of its remaining video platform team and lost most of its top video execs in recent months, we’d hope you’d excuse us for getting the impression that the company wasn’t particularly keen on video. But today new Yahoo (s YHOO) CEO Carol Bartz declared at the D Conference that Yahoo was especially interested in the online video space, and interested in acquiring video technology, according to live-blogs from the conference. From TechCrunch:
“We are very interested in social, and in video technology,” said Bartz. She was particularly bullish on Web video: “This is just the beginning. The whole video area is so exciting. Video advertising growing four times by 2011.”
If pushing video was Bartz’s intent, it hasn’t shown in her actions. Since she joined, execs from all aspects of online video at the company have seen or shown themselves the door. We reported yesterday that Satish Menon, VP of the Consumer Platforms Group, intends to leave Yahoo shortly. Earlier this year, Shravan Goli, general manager of Yahoo Video, and Neeraj Khemlani, general manager for Yahoo News and Originals (aka web video programming), also left. Some 20 to 25 on the video team were laid off earlier this month, and many others have left.
As we’ve detailed extensively in previous posts, Yahoo has stumbled on video, though it’s still the No. 3 U.S. video site almost despite itself. It does seem a bit strange that Bartz would talk up acquiring “video technology” given Yahoo is, according to our sources, phasing out its $160 million Maven Networks video platform acquisition from only last year. Perhaps she just wants to clean house and start fresh.