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Yahoo! pleads! for! ad! juice! as! products! guru! exits!

CEO tells staff it's time for YET ANOTHER makeover

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Yahoo!'s latest broom, Scott Thompson, is trying to fix the company's ailing business by giving the Purple Palace yet another revamp.

This means that people need to be axed, products need to be sharpened or dumped and various execs are suddenly vanishing.

All of those moves happened under Thompson's predecessor Carol Bartz, who tried to turn Yahoo! around but was eventually sacked for failing to achieve that ambitious goal.

In a memo to staff yesterday, Yahoo!'s current chief said that the internet "pioneer" needed to focus on its customers. In other words, the company needs to do a much better job of enticing admen through the door.

Ad revenues – the lifeblood of any prominent web estate – have continued to decline at Yahoo!. Just last week, the firm confirmed plans to lay off 2,000 employees, or 14 per cent of its workforce.

Thompson told staff yesterday that a "new leadership structure" would be created as of 1 May to streamline Yahoo!'s biz. Three divisions will operate on consumer, regions and technology. Product development, meanwhile, has effectively been distilled, which means each group is responsible for its own product development. “We are bringing dedicated product engineering resources into each unit, much closer to our users,” Thompson said.

"Each of the three groups will be charged with delivering the best customer experiences and have very clear accountability for getting results," the Yahoo! boss said.

"Our new consumer group will be all about creating great, engaging user experiences. Our geographic regions will serve our advertisers and agencies and be accountable for all Yahoo! revenue."

His final consideration was for for tech, which Thompson said would "provide the advanced infrastructure, technology and science to enable our consumer group and the regions to deliver our best products and experiences into market, at scale, and fast".

But arguably, technology is at the bottom of his pile of priorities, given that Yahoo! is now in the game of simply trying to survive. Meanwhile, Blake Irving, who was brought in by Bartz about two years ago to overhaul the products division, has decided to quit the company.

That probably has something to do with the fact that so many of his people at Yahoo! were sacked last week. The company is ditching product development in a BIG WAY with Thompson scrapping that wing of the biz. No wonder then that one-time Microsoftie Irving wanted out.

Much more than ever, Yahoo! is trying to reposition itself, not as a tech company, but as an online media outfit that publishes content and makes money from advertising. The only problem with that is that Google and Facebook long ago beat it to the punch and anyway, Yahoo! was always, first and foremost, a sticky portal injected with ad juice. The only problem is it forgot to reapply the glue. ®

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