Yahoo CFO leaving as new CEO shakes up management
After spending six weeks diagnosing Yahoo Inc.'s troubles, new Chief Executive Carol Bartz started to prescribe a cure Thursday with a management shake-up that will usher out the Internet company’s chief financial officer.
Besides pushing out CFO Blake Jorgensen, the overhaul will expand the responsibilities of Yahoo’s chief technology officer, Ari Balogh, and the company’s top advertising executive in the United States, Hilary Schneider.
Bartz also created two jobs: a chief marketing officer and her own chief of staff.
Elisa Steele, who has been working at NetApp Inc., will join Yahoo as chief marketing officer, while Joel Jones, who has been Yahoo’s corporate strategist, will become Bartz’s chief of staff.
Bartz hopes to speed Yahoo’s decision-making and have a senior team that supports her strategy for turning around a firm struggling with three years of declining profits -- a downturn that had battered its stock price well before the market’s overall decline.
Although Bartz still hasn’t specified how she intends to get Yahoo back on track, she has left no doubt about her resolve to recapture the Internet pioneer’s glory days.
“I’m singularly focused on providing you with awesome products. Period,” Bartz wrote in a blog posting Thursday addressed to Yahoo’s 500 million worldwide users.
Yahoo’s previous two CEOs, co-founder Jerry Yang and former movie studio mogul Terry Semel, also tried to revive Yahoo in recent years by reshuffling executives, but those moves never paid off. Bartz’s reorganization is meant to last two to four years.
Investors appear to be betting that Bartz will deliver on her promises. Yahoo shares gained 50 cents, or 4%, to close Thursday at $12.98.
Yahoo hired Bartz, 60, last month to replace Yang, who exasperated many investors and employees with his wishy-washy management style.
Yang also infuriated stockholders last year by turning down an opportunity to sell Yahoo to rival Microsoft Corp. for $47.5 billion, or $33 per share, well above the price of $19.18 just before the software maker announced its initial bid.
Although Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said he no longer wants to buy Yahoo in its entirety, he has indicated he still wants to explore a possible partnership that would involve Yahoo’s online search engine, the second-most popular behind that of Google Inc.