Rumors of Yahoo's management shakeup turned out to be on target, but some of the execs coming and going are a bit of a shocker.
Shocker: Yahoo chief operating officer Dan Rosensweig is leaving at the end of March.
Semi-surprise: CEO Terry Semel stays on board.
A bit of a surprise: Yahoo is looking to the outside to hire an operating executive. Guess the Peanut Butter manifesto didn't help Brad Garlinghouse's chances.
Not much of a surprise: CFO Susan Decker moves to head a reorganized unit. The writing on the wall: She'll get her operating chops and ultimately succeed Semel.
No surprise: Chief Technology Officer Farzad Nazem is charged with bringing Yahoo's project Panama home.
The company is also reorganizing in an effort to be more nimble. However, note the long descriptions provided by Yahoo below. Does that indicate nimbleness? If you can't sum up a unit in 30 words maybe it's not streamlined enough.
Among the groups outlined in Yahoo's press release:
Audience Group -- "This 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!'s valuable users. The group will leverage the success the company has had to date, as the largest global Internet destination, 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."
Advertiser & Publisher Group -- Decker will head this unit, which "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 than any other company. 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 monetization capabilities, by leveraging the size and scale of Yahoo!'s advertising network. Specifically, this group will provide customer-oriented solutions across all major segments, including large advertisers and agencies, small- and medium-sized businesses, local advertisers, resellers and publishers, as well as develop advertising platforms and marketplaces for the future."
Technology Group -- The unit to be headed by Nazem "will concentrate 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. For example, the group will be chartered with leveraging Yahoo!'s platform investments in community to create the technology platforms for new social media environments. In addition, it will have a mandate to speed the development of innovative, next generation advertising platforms beyond Project Panama to support the expansion of Yahoo!'s global advertising network. Yahoo! also remains committed to developers and its specific focus on advanced product development."
All of those groups report to Semel, who noted that the new structure will speed decision making.
The press release also indicates that co-founder Jerry Yang will have more of a day to day role with Semel. Yahoo will have its new executives ready Jan. 1 with the reorg complete at the end of the first quarter. Wall Street reaction will be interesting--the buzz on the Street leaned toward booting Semel.