The timing of Yahoo's reorganization announcement signaled something else is going on. The time on the Businesswire release was 5.34pm Tuesday West Coast time. Usually such events are announced early the next day before the stock markets open, or early afternoon Pacific time, when those markets have closed.
Here's what happened pieced together from sources. Yahoo prereleased its announcement because the Wall Street Journal said it would go live with the story.
The Wall Street Journal had been prepped by sources earlier in the day and agreed to publish the reorganization story in Wednesday's newspaper. But it wanted an interview with Terry Semel, Yahoo CEO, which he kept missing Tuesday afternoon.
WSJ editors grew increasingly frustrated with the no show from Terry Semel. They worried that Yahoo might be pre-briefing the rest of the universe and it might lose pole position on the story, so the Wall Street Journal told Yahoo it would go with what it had and publish the story online. That prompted Yahoo to try to scoop the Wall Street Journal and get its version out first.
Also: Did Dan Rosensweig, the now former chief operating officer at Yahoo, leak the "peanut butter" memo to the press which pressured Mr Semel to take action sooner than later? That's what insiders are saying...
And is this his reward?
From Yahoo :
Dan Rosensweig, chief operating officer, has decided to leave Yahoo!, at the end of March, to ensure a smooth transition.
All I can say is that things have gotten very strange at Yahoo this year. The reorganization is needed but it has to start at the at the very top, IMHO.
Terry Semel was the right person for the job in May 2001 when he joined as CEO, he isn't now. It is clear to anyone that knows Yahoo, that this reorganization is not the final one.
Has Mr Semel been spending too much time at his home in SoCal? It seems that way because he seems very much out of step with the culture of his company and his business.
One more reorg to go...better done sooner than later.
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[BTW: Susan Decker is my pick.]
Dan Farber writes about his former colleague Dan Rosensweig:
Lately Yahoo has seen an exodus of senior executives and the pubic airing of an internal memo, dubbed the Peanut Butter Manifesto, which suggested that Yahoo needs a more cohesive vision, clarity of ownership and accountability and decisiveness. The author of the memo, Yahoo senior vice president Brad Garlinghouse, also said that Yahoo needs sell of non-core businesses and lay off 15 to 20 percent of staff. Dan said the leaked memo had nothing to do with the reorganization, which Semel also claimed in a blog post on Yahoo.