Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Who Will Be the New Yahoo Execs? (BoomTown Nominates Martha Stewart)

When she reorganized the Yahoo management ranks three weeks ago, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz left some glaring empty spaces in her management chart, including for a chief financial officer, the top international exec and a new post for some kind of customer advocacy czar.

Here is the chart of direct reports to Bartz with the unfilled-as-yet spaces at Yahoo (YHOO) in it (click on the chart to make it larger):

orgchart

So, who should get the nod for each?

There are many likely candidates for the CFO role, of course, especially given that the person who gets the nod does not have to be an Internet exec and also that there are lots and lots of high-ranking financial folks more available then ever these days.

But Yahoo will probably opt for a CFO who can both weigh in judiciously on how to focus spending going forward at Yahoo (as one person close to the situation said to me: “Yahoo cannot just cut itself to greatness”), as well as be able to make deals.

One of the many names that have popped up as an interesting idea from a source is former Microsoft (MSFT) dealmaker Bruce Jaffe. The former VP of corporate development left the software giant in January of 2008, right before it made its failed bid for Yahoo, and has since worked as an adviser to Glam Media.

As for international, there are lots of potential candidates for that job too, such as London-based Joost CEO Mike Volpi (who is actually always on a lot of Web company job short lists) to the plethora of internationally-focused execs all over the map, so to speak.

But BoomTown is altogether perplexed at who would be good at the customer advocacy job, which sounds kind of squishy and unclear. Is it like a newspaper ombudsman or like the fine folks over at Consumer Reports?

Or is it meant to me someone who looks over all products and services at Yahoo to make sure those creating and tweaking them always have the consumer in mind?

2007_08_09-marth-wired

Because, if that’s the case, it seems to me that is Job #1 for Bartz, as well as everyone working at Yahoo.

That said, my personal candidate: Martha Stewart–a closet geek and someone who can tell you when it’s a good thing.

Or not.


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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