Yahoo trumpets reorganization

Yahoo has announced a major reorganization to improve its technology and business operations.

Under fire from angry shareholders and rocked by a stream of high-profile executive departures, embattled Yahoo on Thursday announced another reorganization, its latest attempt to snap out of its years-long technology and financial funk.

Stressing its goals of being the "starting point" for most Web users and a "must buy" for most online advertisers, as well as the most attractive platform for developers, Yahoo will now centralize its product development operations.

It will also create a business region just for the U.S. and its end-users, advertisers and Web publishers. In addition, Yahoo will form what it calls an "insights strategy team" and enhance its technology infrastructure so that product designers and engineers will communicate and collaborate better.

"These moves accelerate the ability of our deep and talented team to build great products, grow our audiences and improve monetization globally," said Jerry Yang, Yahoo's CEO, in a statement.

Reporting to President Sue Decker will be three new teams:

-- the Audience Products Division, which will oversee product strategy and product management and will be led by Ash Patel, former manager of Yahoo's Platforms & Infrastructure group;

-- the U.S. region, which will be led by Hilary Schneider, previously chief of the company's Global Partner Solutions group; and

-- Insights Strategy, which is in charge of centralizing and executing "a common strategy for the use of data and analysis across Yahoo," and the chief of which will be named later.

The new organizational structure will improve Yahoo's products and speed up decisions, the company said.

In technology and infrastructure, Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh will be in charge of developing a "world class" cloud computing and storage infrastructure, unifying platforms and improving the communication between product developers and engineers.

As a result, Yahoo will create a Cloud Computing & Data Infrastructure Group, and move all the teams that work on end-user services and sites to the Audience Technology Group under the guidance of Venkat Panchapakesan.

The reorganization also calls for Prabhakar Raghavan to direct search strategy and Tuoc Luong to act as interim chief of the search product team. David Ku will be in charge of the Advertising Technology Group for search.

The reorganization will not touch Yahoo's Marketing Products Division, Connected Life and Corporate Marketing groups.

This reorganization is the latest of several major ones that the company has implemented in the past 18 months or so, and comes at a thorny time, as Yahoo deals with the aftermath of the failed attempt by Microsoft to acquire it.

The three-month pursuit, which ended in early May, has led shareholders to sue the company, saying its directors and managers failed in their fiduciary duty to shareholders by, allegedly, sabotaging Microsoft's acquisition attempt. Investor Carl Icahn has nominated an alternate slate of candidates to oust Yahoo's current board. In addition, Yahoo has seen many high-profile executives abandon the company in the past two months.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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