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International: Yahoo! in major revamp mode; COO Rosensweig resigns, Susan Decker to lead advertising

07-December-2006
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International: Yahoo! in major revamp mode; COO Rosensweig resigns, Susan Decker to lead advertising

Global Internet giant Yahoo! Inc has effected major reorganisation of its structure and top management to capture future opportunities for growth and give a tough fight to its arch rival Google. As part of the restructuring, COO Dan Rosensweig has decided to leave the company by March end, while CFO Susan Decker has been promoted to a new job overseeing advertising sales.

“We’re moving aggressively to deliver the most possible value to our key customers – audiences, advertisers and publishers – and seize the major new opportunities we see ahead for the Internet,” said Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO, Yahoo!.

“The Internet is continuing to grow and evolve at a rapid pace, and we’re reshaping Yahoo! to be a leader in this transformation, just as we did successfully five years ago. Our strategy capitalises on big emerging trends and leverages our core strengths in search, media, communities and communications,” he further said.

Yahoo!’s strategy is to create unique user experiences and consumer insights by leveraging its unmatched global user participation, connections and data. The new structure is designed to drive this strategy by aligning the organisation with four key objectives: Expand customer-centric culture and capabilities, create leading social media environments, lead in next-generation advertising platforms and drive organisational effectiveness and scale.

Under the new structure, Yahoo! will have two customer-focused groups, each led by a senior, experienced operating executive, and a strengthened technology function headed by the chief technology officer. All three executives will report directly to Semel. These groups are Audience Group, Advertiser and Publisher Group, and Technology Group.

The Audience Group will be focused on building the largest and most valuable audiences and relationships on and off the Yahoo! network, creating more unique, tailored and engaging experiences for Yahoo! users. The group will leverage on its success to further enhance its existing products in search, media, communities and communications; build social media environment across Yahoo!; open more opportunities for users to take advantage of Yahoo! tools and services off network and through mobile and digital devices; and pursue growth opportunities in emerging international markets. Yahoo! has launched a search for an experienced executive to serve as head of this group.

The Advertiser and Publisher Group will lead the transformation of how advertisers connect with their target customers across the Internet, with the goal of driving more value for more advertisers and publishers. This group will be created by combining Yahoo!’s broad array of marketing solutions, its industry leading sales teams, and its thousands of high quality distribution partners, to create a full-fledged global advertising network on and off Yahoo! This is designed to benefit both advertisers and publishers and significantly enhance the company’s monetisation capabilities, by leveraging the size and scale of Yahoo!’s advertising network. Decker, who has been serving as Chief Financial Officer since 2000, will head this Group.

The Technology Group, headed by Chief Technology Officer Farzad Nazem, will continue to support the entire organisation. In addition to closer engineering integration within product teams, Yahoo! will concentrate on key engineering talent and shift investment towards the development of high-impact, scalable, global platforms and infrastructures to help capture the most significant long-term growth opportunities.

“We’re putting the right people in the right places to execute our focused growth strategy. Yahoo! has an extraordinarily skilled and experienced group of senior executives, and we’re adding outside senior talent to this already strong team. Our new structure gives us the opportunity to draw more fully on Yahoo!’s deep bench of talent, both at the new group level and down through the organisation, while also increasing accountability, reducing bottlenecks and speeding decision-making. We’ll also continue to drive sustained innovation by recruiting, developing and retaining the best talent in our industry,” said Semel.

The company is, meanwhile, looking for a new Chief Financial Officer to succeed Decker, who will be assisting in this search. Decker will continue to serve as CFO in the interim. The new CFO and other corporate functions, including corporate development, legal affairs, human resources and corporate communications, would report to Semel.

The changes in leadership assignments are effective January 1, 2007. The company expects to complete its reorganisation by the end of Q1 2007.

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