More on Yahoo Reorg in Process: Ari and Hilary Rule, but Who Is Joel Jones?

Published on February 25, 2009
by Kara Swisher

[UPDATED: With more details on Ash Patel and Joanne Bradford.]


“It’s being changed every minute,” joked one Yahoo source about the reorg now in process at Yahoo, which is being shepherded by new CEO Carol Bartz.

Actually, it’s kind of true, as execs at the troubled Web company are being moved around the board like chess pieces, while other players are added.

According to numerous sources, mostly in Yahoo’s Sunnyvale, Calif. HQ, things are still in flux and not completely settled as yet.

But one thing is clear: Layers are being collapsed quickly, as fewer people are in charge of more, with all roads leading to Bartz.

Here’s the current lay of the land, in what is fast becoming Carol Country at Yahoo (YHOO):

Aristotle Balogh

Ari, Ari, Ari!

As BoomTown reported earlier this week, it looks like CTO Ari Balogh will be the biggest winner in the management restructuring, getting to ride herd over the entire product organization, both development and technology.

Most interesting is that Audience Product head and longtime Yahoo veteran Ash Patel is still staying–at this point at least–and report to Balogh (Patel had previously reported directly to outgoing President Sue Decker).

Many at Yahoo think Patel will eventually leave, even if he is not out in the current set-up.

But, if he stays, Patel will apparently focus more on product architecture, if he does remain, which is kind of the purview of Venkat Panchapakesan, EVP of the Audience Technology Group, who already reports to Balogh.

Superman exec Ari will surely sort it all out!

In this scenario, Front Doors head Tapan Bhat could get more product development responsibility, especially since media product development is being moved centrally under Patel.

Hilary Gets More Stuff

As someone perceived internally as a favorite of Decker, U.S. head Hilary Schneider seems to be scoring anyway.

She’ll run a new U.S. division, with media head Jeff Dossett under her, as well as advertising sales head Joanne Bradford.

Some Yahoos, though, think Bradford could report directly to Bartz, given her purview is the most important part of Yahoo’s business.

Schneider will also apparently get a much diminished Connected Life unit, which focuses on mobile and other devices, after the departure of its longtime head Marco Boerries.

I posted news of his leaving earlier today, which now means that part of Yahoo will not stand on its own as a separate fiefdom.

Who Is Joel Jones?


Indeed. Yahoo’s current VP of corporate strategy and former McKinsey consultant, Joel Jones (pictured here), is one of the nominees to be tapped to be Bartz’s chief of staff.

In the new, more centralized organization that Bartz is obviously creating, that will be much more than a bag-carrying role, to be sure.

“Joel is as sharp as they come,” said one former Yahoo. Sharp enough to help Bartz negotiate with Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer?

No news on a possibly COO for Bartz, but she is getting a chief marketing officer to head up the brand and PR functions. Many are suggesting an exec like Pepsi-Cola North America interactive marketing exec John Vail, as I have previously reported, although Yahoo brand exec Allen Olivo is the internal candidate.

Also apparently staying for now is another Decker favorite, CFO Blake Jorgensen.

More to come!

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