Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo Preps Its New Structure Down to the Wire — Set to be Unveiled to Staff at All-Hands Meeting This Morning

Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson and a very close-knit team at the Silicon Valley Internet giant worked into the night last night to put the final touches on a restructuring of the company that will drastically change how it is run.

Sources said Thompson has not fully briefed much of Yahoo’s senior staff about the changes, which he has been working on with Boston Consulting Group.

In other words: Aim. Fire. Ready?

That’s certainly what it has felt like to some, as Thompson has made changes out of typical order in a turnaround.

Most importantly, after laying off 2,000 employees last week before he unveiled a strategy, the new org is presumably Thompson’s first stab at a vision, by changing out and consolidating a number of divisions.

The plan is close to what I have previously reported on several times, with media, sales and consumer products units as the central ones, along with a new commerce/data one.

That could presumably be headed by Sam Shrauger, who left his job as head of product at eBay’s PayPal division yesterday. Sources said Shrauger did not get the top job there after Thompson left to run Yahoo, so his move to follow his old boss seems inevitable.

Right now, the obvious candidate for the media job, which might also include Yahoo’s popular email product, is current Americas head Ross Levinsohn; Shashi Seth is likely to take on search and other consumer products; sales in the important U.S. arena could be headed by Rich Riley, who recently ran Europe, Middle East and Africa for Yahoo.

Under the new plan, products — previously centralized under Blake Irving, who resigned from Yahoo last week — will flow out to the units. Certain units that could be sold, such as its advertising technology assets, will remain intact for now under current leadership.

Thompson might have more tricks up his sleeve — I like tricks, Scott, so let ’em fly!

In any case, all should be unveiled once he takes to the stage at an all-hands employee meeting this morning.

Until then, here’s a video of me on San Francisco’s KQED weekly news talk show, discussing Yahoo (I start at about the 7:30 minute mark):


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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