It looks like Yahoo’s not quite finished with the changes, which began with the departure of Semel and appointment of Yang and Decker.
Wenda Millard, chief sales officer in the U.S., has left Yahoo to become president of media for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. in New York. While this might normally have been seen as a loss for Yahoo, the company is using Millard’s departure as an opportunity to restructure, merging their search and display advertising departments and appointing David Karnstedt (previously SVP for Yahoo’s search sales) to lead the new group.
“By taking a more holistic approach to advertising sales, Yahoo will become a more consultative seller, which should make buying complete solutions easier for our customers across Yahoo and our partner network,” Karnstedt said in a statement. “These moves will also enable our world class sales team to more effectively meet the needs of our advertisers — not just today but well into the future.”
So, it seems like this is going to be a good move for Yahoo. After all, it makes sense, at least on paper, to give advertisers a one stop shop for all advertising buys on the Yahoo network. However, I hope Yahoo has a chance to take a breath and plan a strategy for future changes. Millard’s departure was not the best of timing for a company that is implementing new senior management and trying to figure out its strategy for the future. While we’ll likely see more changes from Yahoo this year, the company doesn’t need any more surprise departures while in a fragile state. Think of Yahoo as the caterpillar that’s in its cocoon. Sure, it has a chance to become a beautiful butterfly, but it’s vulnerable while in its metamorphosing state.