Kara Swisher

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It’s Time for an Internal Memo: Dibble Takes Over All Tech at Yahoo

Even though he is interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn just made a significant change in Yahoo’s tech organization, putting David Dibble in charge of both central technology and core platforms.

Previously, Dibble had been running technology and operations.

The move puts everything from Yahoo’s vast databases to its infrastructure that serves consumers to its advertising products under Dibble.

He is not, as some at Yahoo have perceived the new role, in charge of consumer product development itself. That role still remains with several execs, including Shashi Seth and Mickie Rosen. Yahoo is reportedly looking for a more senior product exec, as well as a new ad head.

But — since it’s Yahoo — the shift is not sitting well with some at the company, since it gives the man in charge of IT a much more expanded role in areas beyond his usual purview. One person likened it to “having an architectural firm run by a plumber.”

Ouch! Still, Dibble is well-regarded as an operator and a technologist and considered one of the more no-nonsense execs at the company.

As part of the move, another longtime Yahoo exec, Mark Morrissey, moves under Dibble as chief of operations for engineering. He used to report directly to the CEO and has held a number of jobs at Yahoo, including working on its search alliance with Microsoft.

Here’s the internal memo about the changes:

Yahoos:

Nothing will enable us to win as much as our ability to execute at the highest levels. We have incredible talent here. We have one of the largest audiences in the world, and we have a myriad of experiences that engage and delight users globally. It’s imperative that Yahoo! execute and operate in a world-class manner. When combined with a true focus on our priorities, growth and prosperity will be the natural outcome. Alignment of our organization and talent against a clear set of actions and goals is essential. To further enable our efforts, I’m pleased to announce the following organization alignment, effectively immediately.

We are bringing together our Central Technology and Core Platforms into one team that will be led by David Dibble. This provides the consumer business units with a single technology team responsible for platforms, technology infrastructure, engineering, science, and operations. It also unifies our key talent behind major projects including Rewire, Alpha, Agile, video technology, mobile technology, personalization and ad targeting, security, and sales tools.

Great technology relies fully on great execution. Great content cannot flourish without great technology. World-class experiences are fully wedded to flawless execution. David has proven to be a world-class operator with a team that operates at remarkable levels at massive scale. Thus, I’ve asked that David also take on broader operating responsibilities for Yahoo!

As executive vice president of technology and operations, David will lead diverse, dynamic, cross-functional program management initiatives and hold teams accountable for key deliverables, including uniting stakeholders in a cohesive product development lifecycle process. This ensures we have the right business case and strategic underpinnings to make our next generation products successful, and that teams are aligned on strategy, objectives, and goals from product conception through launch and subsequent iterations. Product-specific engineering teams for Connections and Media will continue to report into those business units and work closely with the combined group.

Additionally, I am thrilled to announce that Mark Morrissey becomes chief of operations for engineering, reporting into David. In this expanded and pivotal role for our company, Mark leads teams focused on product operations and lifecycle, service engineering, and priority program transitions. He is point for continuing the engineering Alpha initiative and Rewire, our effort to increase datacenter efficiencies. Critical to our future will be Mark’s role in driving our product operations and lifecycle. We must dramatically accelerate how we conceptualize, develop, and go to market with our products. We also must ensure that the company as a whole is fully aware and does their part to capture the potential opportunity. We need to assure the highest quality performance, maximize our marketing efforts and drive both user engagement and monetization. Mark will ensure that we have an agile, yet complete process.

John Kremer continues to lead business operations and the execution of the Alpha initiative, reporting into Mark. John is the executive lead for change management and ensuring the Alpha initiative is executed across the organization with quality and cohesion.

Please join me in congratulating David, Mark, and John. The leadership team and I are committed to making things easier, removing obstacles to our success and enabling Yahoo! to accelerate. I appreciate everything you contribute to the company daily; your passion, drive, and determination are inspiring. Together we are creating the future and defining what it means to be the world’s leading technology powered media company. Much like you, I’m playing to win. We’re in the midst of a revival!

Ross


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