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Yahoo! Launches Another Reorg

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NEW YORK Yahoo! has initiated another company-wide reorganization as the embattled portal continues to seek an effective management structure and executive hierarchy.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Web giant, which recently fought off a takeover attempt by Microsoft before inking a controversial search partnership with rival Google, said it is forming three new groups: an audience products division, a similar U.S.-based product and advertising division and a data-focused insights strategy group.

Longtime Yahoo! executive Ash Patel, previously head of the company's platforms and infrastructure group, will lead the new products division, while rising star Hilary Schneider, who helmed the global partner solutions unit, will lead the U.S.-centric team.

Both executives will report to president Sue Decker, who has yet to place someone in charge of the new insights strategy division.

The string of organizational maneuvers marks at least the third major shakeup at Yahoo! since late 2006, when media head Lloyd Braun and COO Dan Rosensweig left the company and Decker was promoted from CFO to lead one of three other new groups formed at the time.

Since then, Yahoo! has replaced former CEO Terry Semel, merged its search and display ad sales teams, added another new group (global partner solutions) and faced a string of high-profile executive departures, including top sales executives Greg Coleman and Wenda Harris Millard.

Just last week word came that Jeff Weiner, evp of Yahoo!'s network division and Brad Garinghouse, vp of communications and communities, were also set to leave the company.

Yahoo! executives say that this latest organizational reshuffle will help it launch products more easily on a global basis. "These moves accelerate the ability of our deep and talented team to build great products, grow our audiences and improve monetization globally," said Jerry Yang, Yahoo! CEO. "They are designed to put us in an even better position to leverage our leading global audience and capture the opportunity we see in the convergence of search and display advertising."