Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo Reorg Will Be Announced Thursday

As expected, Yahoo will announce its reorg tomorrow morning, along the same lines as BoomTown outlined in detail last week.

The only issue that arose was over the appointment of Ash Patel to head the new Global Products group. His appointment was greeted with internal dissent, but Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang was said to have insisted that Patel remain on as planned.

Last week, I outlined the sweeping internal changes at Yahoo (YHOO), which will again dramatically change the structure of management.

As we wrote, the new Global Products group will be headed by Patel (pictured here), who is currently EVP of Yahoo’s Platforms and Infrastructure division.

Much of the Network division, which until recently was under the leadership of the now departed Jeff Weiner, will move under Patel, including search, mail, instant messenger, front page, platforms and social networking.

All these products are considered “global” properties and products, including divisions run by communications and communities SVP Brad Garlinghouse, former Search SVP Vish Makhijani and Front Door head Tapan Bhat.

While Makhijnai is leaving, Bhat is staying so far and Garlinghouse–despite previous reports of his imminent departure–will likely stay on through the summer.

Sources said the prospect of working for Patel is not a welcome one for some Yahoo execs in the old Network division.

Patel has been at Yahoo since 1996, and some do not think his operational style is dynamic enough and claim his division has had problems shipping products.

In the new organization, Global Partner Solutions EVP Hilary Schneider (pictured here) will get purview over the entire U.S. region.

Schneider will continue to oversee all ad sales and add on the Yahoo Media Group under Scott Moore, who was Weiner’s other direct report.

That shift will bring together Yahoo’s vast content properties, like Yahoo Finance, with ad sales and align them more closely.

The rest of the world will be split up between three other regions: Europe, headed by Toby Coppel; Asia, run by Rose Tsou; and emerging markets, headed by Keith Nilsson.

Patel, Schneider and the others all report to Yahoo President Sue Decker.

The reorg was largely run by Decker (pictured here) and top HR execs. Yang was involved but not very visible in the process to top managers.

And all of this reorg might be moot anyway.

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn is still pursuing his proxy fight to remove Yahoo’s board and management, which could come to a head at Yahoo’s annual meeting on Aug. 1.

And investors are pressing Microsoft (MSFT) to make another proposal to run Yahoo’s search ad and search businesses, which could include the software giant buying a significant stake in Yahoo.

While some think Yang will soon hand over the CEO reins to Decker, increasing numbers of insiders and outside investors are pushing for new management at the top, as Yahoo’s shares decline and more and more talent takes flight from the company.

“A fish stinks from the head,” joked one employee. “This reorg is change, but what we might need goes higher than this.”


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work