Under fire from angry shareholders and rocked by a stream of high-profile executive departures, embattled Yahoo on Thursday announced another reorganization, one that includes the formation of a cloud computing and data infrastructure group. The move has some analysts speculating that Yahoo may have plans to enter the market for hosted IT services like Google and Amazon have done.
In its latest attempt to snap out of its years-long technology and financial funk, Yahoo will now centralize its product development operations. It will also create a business region just for the United States and its end-users, advertisers, and Web publishers. In addition, Yahoo will form what it calls an "insights strategy team" and enhance its technology infrastructure so that product designers and engineers will communicate and collaborate better.
"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's CEO, in a statement.
The new organizational structure will improve Yahoo's products and speed up decisions, the company said.
In technology and infrastructure, Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh will be in charge of developing a "world class" cloud computing and storage infrastructure, unifying platforms, and improving the communication between product developers and engineers.
As a result, Yahoo will create a Cloud Computing & Data Infrastructure Group, and move all the teams that work on end-user services and sites to the Audience Technology Group under the guidance of Venkat Panchapakesan.
The announcement of the cloud computing and data infrastructure group left Gartner analyst Allen Weiner scratching his head and wondering if that means Yahoo plans to enter the market for hosted IT services.
Asked for clarification about this point, a Yahoo spokeswoman indicated that this is a possibility but didn't offer more details.
This new group will consolidate and extend the company's considerable resources and talent in cloud computing, including Yahoo's ongoing support of the Hadoop open source grid computing project, she said in an e-mailed statement.
The resulting "next generation cloud computing and data infrastructure" at Yahoo will not only power the company's existing and future sites and services, but also "any services ultimately extended to customers," she said. "However we are not discussing any such details today."
After the reorganzation, reporting to President Sue Decker will be three new teams:
-- the Audience Products Division, which will oversee product strategy and product management and will be led by Ash Patel, former manager of Yahoo's Platforms & Infrastructure group;
-- the U.S. region, which will be led by Hilary Schneider, previously chief of the company's Global Partner Solutions group; and
-- Insights Strategy, which is in charge of centralizing and executing "a common strategy for the use of data and analysis across Yahoo," and the chief of which will be named later.