Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo Hires New M&A Head–But Whither Greg Mrva?

Yahoo has hired a new head of mergers and acquisitions–former General Electric (GE) M&A exec Andrew Siegel, who will now be VP of corporate development.

Yahoo (YHOO) CFO Tim Morse dropped the news with exactly no details about that title in an interview with The Wall Street Journal about the Silicon Valley Internet giant’s third-quarter earnings.

Another question apparently not answered was what exactly is the status of its current top M&A exec, Greg Mrva–who has had the title Siegel has now posted on his LinkedIn profile–as well as that of VP of mergers and acquisitions more recently.

In other words: Where the heck is Greg?

BoomTown was considering a search party–get it?–if Yahoo hadn’t outsourced that to Microsoft (MSFT). Thus, Plan B: Mrva milk cartons!

On Facebook, Mrva is still listed as being in the Yahoo network, although there was a report floated recently by Silicon Alley Insider that he was asked by Morse to leave his M&A job at Yahoo and find a new one at the company.

Whatever the situation–either Mrva running it with Siegel or being hipchecked out by him–helming M&A at Yahoo can’t be a fun job right now, given that the company has been looking to sell quite a few of its assets, including its Zimbra open-source email business, its personals unit, its HotJobs online classified business and many more to come, said sources.

In fact, in a recent post, BoomTown wrote: “Mrva’s new job title should be: VP of un-mergers and de-acquisitions.”

The effort to unload big swathes of Yahoo is part of an aim by new management to slim down its diverse portfolio, even as it strives to redefine itself with a new, pricey marketing campaign that seeks to position the company primarily as a consumer offering.

Mrva has been the main exec shopping Yahoo properties around, according to many sources, a job that will now apparently be Siegel’s.

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has said the company is also looking for acquisitions, mostly small, so perhaps there will be more to do for the company’s dealmakers than running an Internet garage sale.

I contacted Yahoo to find out what’s up with Siegel and Mrva, a well-liked exec in Silicon Valley, and also have reached out to him. When either responds with anything of note, I will update here.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald