For a company that made headlines with a “Peanut Butter Manifesto, Yahoo has exhibited a decidedly non-sticky quality, at least when it comes to maintaining a grip on executive staffers. The latest to go is Head of Yahoo Entertainment Vince Broady.
Evidently as part of its goal to become the Web’s starting point, the company has been re-positioning execs for months. Its recent shift effectively negated the roles of people like Broady, and squeezed out GM News Neil Budde, who has also left Yahoo. Former Head of News and Information Scott Moore recently became the lead on Yahoo’s Media business, including News, Finance, Sports and Entertainment, apparently rendering Broady’s role obsolete.
“The entertainment property is now rolling up into a larger media team, so therefore there’s one lead for all of media,” a Yahoo spokesperson told ClickZ News.
Yahoo has also made significant moves in the hopes of becoming the Web’s largest ad network, a title currently enjoyed by AOL’s Advertising.com.
As head of games, entertainment and youth at Yahoo, Broady made a splash in these pages and elsewhere with the introduction of his “Brand Universes” concept, a plan unveiled in December 2006 to build several online environments dedicated to entertainment brands. The first was designed for Nintendo Wii, and featured a buyer’s guide, store locater, eBay auctions, a message board and product-related Yahoo Answers posts. In addition to helping to woo big brand advertisers to the site, the intent of the Brand Universes project was to rein in disparate parts by unifying tools and content areas developed and acquired over the years.
Now, after Broady promised 100 such sites would be developed in 2007, the firm has only a handful living on the site and has given up on cultivating the project. Moving forward, Yahoo won’t be pursing Brand Universes, the spokesperson said.
Just what Broady will do once he officially departs the hallowed purpled halls is unknown, and the Yahoo spokesperson would not comment. The spokesperson also would not say whether Broady declined another position with Yahoo before deciding to exit. Broady was not made available for comment by the company.
Broady reportedly was hired by former media group head Lloyd Braun, who since has commandeered ex-Yahoo Media Group exec Geraldine Martin-Coppola for his new production firm BermanBraun. Whether Broady, too, will move to BermanBraun is anyone’s guess.
Yahoo lost several executives in 2007 as has struggled to reinvent itself in an effort to compete with the likes of Google, Microsoft, AOL and whatever wily innovators loom in beta form, waiting to steal away pageviews, ad dollars — or give it all away for free.
Yahoo’s notorious “Peanut Butter Manifesto” was an internal memo leaked in November 2006 and attributed to a senior exec who bemoaned, among other things, the “massive redundancy that exists throughout the organization” at Yahoo.
UPDATE This story originally reported Yahoo’s structural changes “may have squeezed out GM News Neil Budde, who has also reportedly left Yahoo.” A Yahoo spokesperson has confirmed that Budde left Yahoo in December as a result of the restructuring.