Kara Swisher

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Is Yahoo’s Human Resources Department Next to Get a Mayer Shakeup?

David Windley

According to sources close to the situation, active new CEO Marissa Mayer has turned her focus on the troubled Silicon Valley Internet giant’s human resources unit.

It is now headed by David Windley, whose tenure has included a huge brain drain and a series of layoffs at Yahoo, as well as an ongoing series of top leaders.

Yahoo, as has become its new practice, has not returned an email seeking comment.

Some in the company think a big shakeup is coming, which could include Windley’s departure.

He could stay too, but it is clear his new boss will be in his business much more than previous CEOs.

That is probably no surprise in the wake of the hiring of Mayer. The former Google exec has instituted a series of quickfire changes across the company related to its culture and recruiting, which have basically boiled down to making a Yahoo version of the search giant.

While free food and better swag have attracted attention, Mayer has also plunged into the recruiting arena aggressively. She is now reviewing all new hires personally — another steal, um, borrow, from Google — and has also begun to require a much more stringent set of standards.

That has included the requirement of the addition of solid college grade-point averages and a preference for higher-level educational institutions for incoming resumes.

Windley has been at Yahoo through a long series of CEO musical chairs and has been criticized internally for the talent loss and also its series of layoffs at Yahoo.

While none of this is his fault specificially, Windley is the person, according to its Web site, in charge of “driving Yahoo!’s worldwide strategies around talent, culture and organization effectiveness.”

Which has not been very effective — thus, the Mayer scrutiny.

If he left, Windley would follow former interim CEO Ross Levinsohn out the door as Mayer begins her house-cleaning of the company and looks to put her own team in place.

Mayer is reaching out to a number of execs outside the company, including Twitter exec Katie Stanton, as well as perusing at a series of start-ups to bring new people into the company.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus