NEW YORK In an effort to compete more effectively in a fast-changing market, Yahoo made major organizational changes today, parting with COO Dan Rosenweig and media chief Lloyd Braun (who are leaving the company) and naming CFO Sue Decker to lead a new advertising division.
Yahoo will now operate with three divisions: audiences, advertising (which includes publishers) and technology. Farzad Nazem leads the tech division. Yahoo will hire a new executive for audiences.
In a statement, the company said the changes were made to help it "more effectively focus on key customer segments and capture future growth opportunities."
The personnel moves come as Yahoo responds to criticism outside and within that the 10,000-employee company has become overly bureaucratic and slow to embrace shifts in the market. (A leaked memo late last month by company executive Brad Garlinghouse had called for Yahoo to overhaul its management structure.)
"We plan to drive growth and profitability by leveraging our deep audience insights to create a full-fledged advertising network, with a marketplace that meets supply and demand both on Yahoo's valuable owned-and-operated network and across the entire Internet," said Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, in a statement.
Decker is often viewed as a potential successor to Semel. In her new role, she will be in charge of advertising on Yahoo and its broader network, including both its search and display advertising efforts.
EVP of global ad sales Greg Coleman, Yahoo chief sales officer Wenda Harris Millard and search sales head David Karnstedt will report to Decker. In addition to being CFO for the past six years, Decker was recently put in charge of Yahoo's marketplaces unit, which includes job, auto and classified listings.
While badly trailing Google in search, Yahoo has a leading position in the display category. This week it released research, compiled with ComScore Media Metrix, showing that search ads are more effective when paired with display placements.
Yahoo has sought to turn its wider reach in display ads into a competitive advantage against Google and other rivals. To do so, the company has pushed for better integration between its search and display advertising sales teams.