Yahoo Reorganizes, Yet Again
The overhaul leaves CEO Jerry Yang and President Sue Decker in place atop the company hierarchy, but expands responsibilities for products and sales under Ash Patel and Hilary Schneider.
Specifically, the new structure creates three teams reporting to Decker: An audience products division led by Ash Patel, previously head of platforms and infrastructure; a U.S. regional division headed by Hilary Schneider, formerly head of the global partner solutions group; and an insights strategy unit, charged with centralizing and executing company-wide strategy for using data and analytics.
A leader for that division will be named in the next few weeks, Yahoo said.
The internal overhaul also makes changes on Yahoo's technology side. One new group will focus on cloud computing and data infrastructure while an audience technology group under Venkat Panchapakesan will oversee all consumer-facing platforms.
The shakeup marks the fourth reorganization for Yahoo since November 2006, including a year ago when Yang replaced Terry Semel as CEO and Decker was promoted to president.
While those two are staying put, Thursday's restructuring comes partly in response to an upper management exodus at Yahoo in recent weeks. The flood of departures included top search executives Vish Makhijani and Qi Lu last week in the wake of Yahoo's deal to outsource search advertising to Google.
To help fill the vacuum, Yahoo named Prabhakar Raghavan as director of search strategy and Tuoc Luong as interim head of the search product team. David Ku will lead the advertising technology group within search.
Yahoo is also under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, who is seeking to install an alternate slate of board directors and push out Yang as CEO. The company on Wednesday issued a letter to stockholders urging them to support the current board, including Yang, and reject Icahn's board candidates.
Icahn launched the proxy fight in order to try to force Yahoo to accept Microsoft $47.5 billion takeover bid. Since Microsoft withdrew its offer earlier this month, Yahoo argues that Icahn's campaign to remove the board has lost its purpose.
Shareholders will vote whether to support the existing board or Icahn's candidates at Yahoo's annual meeting on August 1.
Investors appeared unimpressed with the Yahoo reorganization as shares fell almost 3% to close at $21.61.