UPDATED 17:48 EDT / FEBRUARY 26 2009

Yahoo Re-Org Round-Up

imageThere’s a lot of analysis all over the web over Carol Bartz’s newly announced re-org of the executive management. I’m not intimately familiar with every executive by name, so the best I can do is point to the most poignant analysis and share a few parallels I’ve seen drawn today.

The most raw information that can be gotten about what’s happened can be gleaned, surprisingly, from Valleywag. As per usual, they’ve gotten their paws on leaked information, and this time it includes a memo and the new org chart.



Broad Coverage Highlights So Far

Kara Swisher at AllThingsD summarizes the changes:

It’s pretty much what BoomTown has been reporting all week about the reorganization.

Top-down simplification, which is another word for: Carol rules over Yahoo (YHOO).

CTO Ari Balogh gets a lot of stuff as new head of products, and so does U.S. head Hilary Schneider, including mobile, as EVP of North American Region. Both report to Bartz.

Unmentioned, but Audience Products head Ash Patel appears to still be in. But this reorg takes a lot of power away from him and it seems likely he has to get a new title since Balogh is products czar.

Also still in are General Counsel Michael Callahan and HR head David Windley.

CFO Blake Jorgensen is out, with job hiring pending for a new one.

And, as I first reported, Joel Jones is Bartz’s chief of staff. (New BoomTown mantra related to that: Who the heck is Joel Jones?)

New chief marketing officer is Elisa Steele, who come from NetApps (NTAP). Bartz happens to be on the board of NetApps, by the way.

New International head TBD.

A new Consumer Advocacy Group and some team called Service Engineering & Operations, which will apparently make all the complex tech stuff run easier (I am holding my breath on this one).

Bartz, who said the new org will last at least two to four years, also sent an email to employees about the changes.

Anthony Ha at VentureBeat notes:

This, incidentally, is Bartz’ first Yahoo blog post, and while it’s a bit short on specifics, I’m glad it reads like a real person wrote it and includes the phrases “People here have impressed the hell out of me” and “Look for this company’s brand to kick ass again.” Hopefully that optimism will seem justified in the coming months.

Dan Frommer at BusinessInsider quotes his commenters:

Good question by commenter Flutie: Should we now put less weight in Blake’s statement at an investor conference yesterday that Yahoo was open to a search deal?

Either way, it’s clear that Carol is going to keep making deep cuts until Yahoo looks the way she wants it to.

Erick Schonfeld at Techcrunch simply asks:

In other words, where are the star hires? (Note that Bartz has hired a new Chief marketing officer in Elisa Steele).

My Thoughts, in Brief

Iimage caught a posting from the blog Information Arbitage this morning that theoretically explored the idea ex-Wall Streeters fueling an entrepreneurial boom beyond value reallocation, but through “all those IT professionals, middle- and back-office pros, and less senior bankers trying to figure out what to do with their lives.”

The post more or less explored the mental stumbling blocks that exist in transitioning from a Wall Street mindset to the startup mindset. On its own, its a spectacular read just for the mental exercise of perhaps recognizing a trend that could be underway (under the radar) as we speak.

I bring it up now because one of the mental stumbling blocks it pointed out is something I think may have become endemic to Yahoo in the years following it’s dominance in the 90’s.

From the IA article: “The culture of a start-up is night and day from that of Wall Street. Fiefs and political barriers exist all over the place on Wall Street, and "playing the system" requires a defined skill set: toughness, cynicism and mistrust. Fact is, these attributes that helped you succeed on Wall Street are more than simply unhelpful in a start-up environment; they are toxic.”

More than once in various bits of coverage over the years, I’ve heard referred to the various fiefdoms that were set up under the Semel regime at Yahoo and not dismantled under Yang’s leadership.

Meanwhile, Google and Apple’s nearly total blue-sky R&D approach to technology allowed them to continue to flourish while Yahoo fought their internal battles.

The impression I get from the tone Bartz has set in her memos and blog post is that she’s coming in to bust things up and get back to those freewheeling roots (yes, as a maverick, if you will). I get a strong sense of positivity and an intolerance for the “Wall Street attitude.” I see these things can only be positive moves for Yahoo.

What other salient points and observations have you observed amongst the glut of posts, comments and reports today?

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