There are two views of the just-announced Yahoo reorganization. An upbeat assessment sees it as an instrumental step toward realizing Yahoo’s broad platform ambitions; a more skeptical perspective sees it as yet another run at streamlining the organization in the wake of the upheavals of the failed Microsoft acquisition bid and the departures of key executives. The truth is probably out there and somewhere in between.
According to the press materials, the company is reorganizing largely into three new groups:
The company is creating three new teams that will report to President Sue Decker. An Audience Products Division will assume responsibility for companywide product strategy and product management. It will be led by Ash Patel, who previously managed the company’s Platforms & Infrastructure group. A U.S. region with accountability for all go-to-market activity in the U.S. will be led by Hilary Schneider, who previously headed the company’s Global Partner Solutions group. Finally, an Insights Strategy team will assume responsibility for centralizing and executing a common strategy for the use of data and analysis across Yahoo!. The company plans to name this group’s leader within the next few weeks.
In addition, Yahoo is forming what it calls a “Cloud Computing & Data Infrastructure Group, charged with developing a computing infrastructure that balances scalability with cost effectiveness.” That group will report up to Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh. Marketing and Connecting Life (mobile) will operate as they do today.
Prior to this announcement, just yesterday, Yahoo released a letter to shareholders in which it sought to justify the Google search deal and rejection of the Microsoft search-only acquisition proposal:
While Microsoft’s search-only hybrid proposal may have been helpful to Microsoft, our board and management concluded it would have had a significant adverse impact on Yahoo! strategically, leaving the Company without the operational control of search assets and technology we view as critical to our objective of becoming a leader in the converging search and display advertising business . . .In short, this proposal would have generated substantially less value for Yahoo! stockholders than Microsoft has suggested.
Danny, in his AdAge column, argues that people are incorrectly discounting and betting against Yahoo, which remains a very powerful player online.
But wait, although the corpse of MicroHoo isn’t even cold, TechCrunch and CNET speculate on potentially renewed negotiations between Yahoo and Microsoft. Ironically, CNET reports that Microsoft thinks it still has an opportunity to do a sweetened deal with CEO Jerry Yang around search. This, despite the fact that Yang was described in court papers as having “deep hostility” to Microsoft.
Back to Google. The Detroit Free Press profiles the company at 10 and takes a broad look at all its initiatives from search to iGoogle and TV Ads. And USAToday evaluates Google stock and recommends a buy for those with the right risk tolerance over the long term.