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Feb 26, 2009

Yahoo's Bartz On Management Reorg: 'You'd Be Amazed How Complicated Some Things Are Here'

Ed: Who are the customers?
  • The users of email, readers of news, and billions of visitors who pay nothing.
  • The advertisers that are the bulk of incoming revenues.
  • The ISPs who partner with Yahoo for services and contribute little in fees.
  • The thousands of newspaper partners starving for a hand out.
The blog post seems to target the former. The real work is all the rest.

imageYahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) CEO Carol Bartz is implementing a new management structure that she says in a post on Yahoo's blog that aims to remove the "notorious silos" in the name of speed and simplicity. Bartz' memo is pretty vague on what she'll be doing away with. She's more expansive on what she'll be adding, namely the formation of a Customer Advocacy group, which she indicated was inspired after getting a lot of angry phone calls from frustrated users and advertisers. As Bartz notes at the end of her missive, she has a big to-do list.

Surveying her past six weeks at the head of Yahoo, which has included the sudden loss of three top execs in the past four days, Bartz says there's a lot to be optimistic about at Yahoo, but "there's also plenty that has bogged this company down. For starters, you'd be amazed at how complicated some things are here." She also hints that she wants to refurbish Yahoo's brand, saying that the idea of what Yahoo stands for has lost any clear meaning the last few years. Bartz' full memo after the jump.

Getting our house in order

A month and a half in the saddle and today I have the perfect excuse to get blogging.

I've been on a whirlwind tour for the last six weeks, talking with everybody from executive leaders to the guys who configured my laptop. 
I've been in student mode, slowly getting smarter about what makes this place tick. And most recently, I've been gathering information on what it's going to take to get Yahoo! to a great place as an organization –- and one that brings you killer products.

People here have impressed the hell out of me. They're smart, dedicated, passionate, driven, and really nice. There's so much great energy and frankly lots of optimism. But there's also plenty that has bogged this company down. For starters, you'd be amazed at how complicated some things are here.

So today I'm rolling out a new management structure that I believe will make Yahoo! a lot faster on its feet. For us working at Yahoo!, it means everything gets simpler. We'll be able to make speedier decisions, the notorious silos are gone, and we have a renewed focus on the customer. For you using Yahoo! every day, it will better enable us to deliver products that make you say, "Wow."

I've noticed that a lot of us on the inside don't spend enough time looking to the outside. That's why I'm creating a new Customer Advocacy group. After getting a lot of angry calls at my office from frustrated customers, I realized we could do a better job of listening to and supporting you. Our Customer Care team does an incredible job with the amazing number of people who come to them, but they need better resources. So we're investing in that. After all, you deserve the very best.

We're also leaning on this team to make sure we're all hearing the voice of our customers (consumers and advertisers). I'm singularly focused on providing you with awesome products. Period. The kind that get you so excited, you have to tell someone about them.

Whether on your desktop, your mobile device, or even your TV.

And that takes a real understanding of what you want/need/love/hate, how you're using our products, and what you find simple, intuitive, easy and fun. Who wants innovation for innovation's sake if it doesn't make your life easier, more efficient, more productive? So expect us to hear you better and take better care of you.

Finally, a note about our brand. It's one of our biggest assets. Mention Yahoo! practically anywhere in the world, and people yodel. But in the past few years, we haven't been as clear in showing the world what the Yahoo! brand stands for. We're going to change that. Look for this company's brand to kick ass again.

Big thanks to the many of you who've reached out with positive comments. It's clear people want Yahoo! to succeed. I'll try to pop by here again soon, though probably not too soon. I have a pretty long to-do list.

Carol Bartz


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