Kara Swisher reported last night that Yahoo would announce the big reorg. Well she was correct. Yahoo announced the ReOrg today. Not much to say other than what is already being reported.
Here is the detail as of today (thanks Kara Swisher) .. the structure will pivot on several key execs, reporting to President Sue Decker.
EVP of Yahoo’s Platforms and Infrastructure division Ash Patel as head of a new Audience Products group (its name was changed from Global Products); Global Partner Solutions EVP Hilary Schneider as the head of a new U.S unit; various folks running around the rest of the globe.
There will also be another strategy team group with a new head, who has not yet been chosen.
And Yahoo will name Scott Dietzen (pictured, right) to take over the job of SVP Brad Garlinghouse, running all communications and community properties and products under Patel.
What All This Means?
To me the big area that is critical for Yahoo is corporate *and* competitive strategy. These variables are not mutually exclusive. Yahoo has some big weapons but under their current condition they have limited energy, time, and people resource (know-how) to execute. Therefore, it’s a chess game not a frontal brute force battle. Yahoo has to be smart and execute with precision. Every move needs to be calculated in context to their corporate and competitive plan. Yahoo has been winging it for years – relying on their massive pageviews and audience subscribers.
Yahoo needs to be “all in” and compete. I am in the camp of pro-Yahoo (always have been). I’m cheering for them to pour it on AND compete.
Last year Jerry Yang took over as ‘Captain’ Yahoo but their ship is stalled. Where are those new ‘sails’ to capture the new winds that are clearly blowing Google and Facebook’s way? Yahoo needs to change the game. Where’s the competive strategy? Where the “Eye of the Tiger” attitude?
Businessweek had the best analysis on Yahoo’s situation around the recent layoff and future prospects for success. Display advertising is feeling the pre-recession jitters but not search (or ecommerc) advertising. Yahoo keeps losing ground in search to Google. According to Nielsen Online‘s numbers, usually the most conservative measure of the market, Google’s share of searches in December was 56.3% to Yahoo’s 17.7%, and Google got 70% more searches per searcher than Yahoo.
Yahoo needs new products and fast. Jerry Yang says they are focused on investments on new initiatives. As Yang’s vow to keep spending on some initiatives indicates, Yahoo’s hope remains coming up with new services that catch people’s imagination as Google, MySpace (NWS), Facebook, and other sites have.
I’ve been predicting a Yahoo comeback and openness for sometime. Look for Yahoo to join opensocial and compete in the web 2.0 infrastructure.
New CTO? What does it Mean:
Silver Lining in new CTO hire: One promising sign from their new hire, Ari Balogh, is that he’s an infrastructure guy. He knows how to deal with scale and product rollouts that are managed service based. What does this mean? Yahoo could develop (fast) a significant position against both Google and Microsoft Live if Ari Balogh and team can integrate services and leverage user data for new products – a kind of “Mega Mashup” product strategy. The portal model is dying and advertisers are voting.
Also look for possible Data as a Service product set. Yahoo has so many possibilities but they need to pick a few and go with it. Yahoo has all the ‘raw materials’ and the audience to roll out ‘instant’ killer products.
For Yahoo to succeed it’s all about competitive strategy. Can’t wait to see how they execute their plan.