Bartz to put more top-down control in Yahoo

Will accountability and better execution save Yahoo? It's a start

According to reports in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) and sister publication All Things Digital, Carol Bartz is wasting no time in reorganizing Yahoo. Sources report that Bartz is expected to implement a more top-down style, consolidating some functions to improve execution and accountability. Further analysis in a NewsFactor article highlights the need to thin Yahoo's ranks of VPs and shut down unprofitable properties.

Given Yahoo's seeming inability to focus over the last couple of years, these sound like the right steps for a new CEO. While some have criticized Bartz' lack of advertising and search experience, the key thing she brings to the company is a fresh set of eyes and an ability to make tough operational decisions. No doubt Yahoo wasted a lot of cycles over the last few years continuing to fund money-losing projects.

That's likely why the board went outside for a new CEO. They need someone who can make these decisions impartially and without worrying about the internal politics and corporate BS. Anyone who seriously looked at Yahoo's matrix org structure would have come to the conclusion that it's too complex, slows down decision making, and lacks accountability.

And while some of Yahoo's decisions are indeed "tough," the reality is that in some cases, they are fairly obvious from the outside. They may even be obvious to many internally. But if you're inside a big honking corporate structure, you can get so accustomed to the way things are that you lose sight of the basics. Any large company that has gone adrift could benefit from a fresh perspective.


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