Kara Swisher

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Mayer Brings Back Ex-Yahoo Rossiter to Lead Platforms (Memo Time!)

According to an internal memo, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has brought back Jay Rossiter, who left the company under the regime of Scott Thompson, to lead its platforms effort “focusing on the tools and technology supporting our externally facing products.”

The move also take back a huge swath of engineering responsibilities at the Silicon Valley Internet giant from David Dibble, who was given a wide purview over all technology in June under interim CEO Ross Levinsohn.

Mayer smoothed over the change — Dibble will now be back in charge of internal infrastructure — in the memo to staff about the change, noting: “I want to call out that Dibble has been an incredible technical leader and tremendous member of my staff, and I’m confident this realignment will help us bring clear focus and faster execution within each organization.”

Rossiter was at Yahoo for five years, before leaving for a short time, having led its cloud efforts and other tech projects.

The hiring back of Yahoo is interesting, given that Mayer was widely touted as someone who would attract big-time new talent to gird its tech efforts.

In any case, here’s the memo:

From: Marissa Mayer
Date: November 13, 2012, 4:42:53 PM EST
To: “all-worldwide@yahoo-inc.com”
Subject: Welcome back Jay Rossiter!
Reply-To: Marissa Mayer

YAHOO! PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION — DO NOT FORWARD

Hi All –

Today, I’m excited to welcome back a long-time Yahoo, colleague and friend. Jay Rossiter is returning to Yahoo! reporting to me as EVP of Platforms, focusing on the tools and technology supporting our externally facing products. As many of you know, this is an area of in which Jay has spent much of his career, including his five years here at Yahoo!. As a true engineering leader, Jay fully understands the intricacies of platform excellence — especially how important it is for us as we build great products for our users and advertisers.

Jay will lead our efforts in creating a world-class platform technology stack for the company. The technologies created by Jay’s team will include Cloud Services, Hadoop, Personalization & Targeting, Mobile/Presentation platform technologies, Consumer Platforms, Membership and supporting Development Tools. As part of this alignment, Elissa Murphy, Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz, James Carroll, Charles Marker, Rammohan Kordale, and Ty Lee will now join Jay’s team.

Additionally as we continue to ensure we are architecting our products with excellence, Amotz Maimon will join Jay’s leadership team. This new structure, focus at the E-Staff level coupled with Jay’s track record at Bell Labs, 3COM, Oracle and at Yahoo!, position us well for some big wins in the platform space.

David Dibble will continue to lead many of our critical technology functions as EVP of Central Technology — focused on the internal infrastructure that is so critical to our success. Dibble will lead our data centers, service engineering, CIO, IT, and internal security functions with Mark Morrissey, Randy Roumillat, Randall Gannaway, and Justin Somaini on his team. Scott Burke and RonBrachman will also continue to report to Dibble. I want to call out that Dibble has been an incredible technical leader and tremendous member of my staff, and I’m confident this realignment will help us bring clear focus and faster execution within each organization.

In Jay’s words: “I am absolutely thrilled to rejoin the ‘new Yahoo!’ with the increased momentum and focus on building great products leveraging world-class technology. I’ve been watching the changes from afar, having spent the last few months fulfilling a lifelong dream of traveling across Africa, Asia, and Europe with my family. I am ready to re-engage.”

Please join me in welcoming him back!

Marissa


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google