Posted by Tom Foremski - December 6, 2006
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 things are announced early the next day before the markets open, or early afternoon Pacific time, when markets have just closed.
Here's what happened. Yahoo prereleased it because the Wall Street Journal said it would go live with the story. The Wall Street Journal had been prepped by sources 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 concerned with 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. Which prompted Yahoo to try to scoop the Wall Street Journal and get its version out first.
All I can say is that things have gotten very strange at Yahoo this year. This reorg is needed but the one that's needed is 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 is very much out of step with the culture of his company and his business.
One more reorg to go...get it done sooner than later.
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[BTW: Susan Decker is my pick.]
Dan Farber writes about his former colleague Dan Rosensweig:
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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.