New Reorg at Yahoo, Captain of Search/Display Integration to Depart

Senior Yahoo exec Greg Coleman, a key player in the company’s integration of search and display ads, will be shown the door as part of yet another restructuring at the company. In a memo to staff obtained by “The Wall Street Journal,” President Sue Decker announced his “mutually agreed” upon exit and the creation of a new group to lead all partner relations and ad products, along with other changes.

The new division, called Global Partner Solutions, will have responsibility for all ad formats, marketing efforts, and “customer types and sizes.” All Yahoo relations with advertisers, agencies, publishers, ad networks, and other constituents will go through it, and many existing Yahoo teams will be grouped under it. The latter include the global sales group, the Yahoo Publisher Network, corporate partnerships and Hot Jobs.

Hilary Schneider, most recently head of Yahoo’s Publisher Network and a driver of its national newspaper consortium, will lead the division.

Decker wrote to staff that the Global Partner Solutions group will help Yahoo better mobilize ad inventory for specific client’s media plans across its entire network.

As part of the reorganization, the company’s recently created Advertiser Publisher Group has officially been wiped out of existence, a spokesperson told ClickZ. The APG was created eight months ago along with an Audiences Group and a Technology Group, but that structure has seemed increasingly ill-starred in the wake of the company’s senior leadership changes and its failure to appoint direct leadership for the APG and Audiences groups, which were both controlled by Sue Decker.

“APG consisted of front end and back end, if you will,” the spokesperson said. “This new group consists of the front end only — units that touch customers.”

The back end, called Marketing Products, now stands alone. A leader for that group has yet to be named.

According to Decker’s memo, under the new structure, “We will be able to much more quickly identify and secure the ad inventory that best meets our advertisers’ objectives and partner with advertisers that best meet our publishing partners’ objectives as well as provide the most compelling experience to the vast audiences we reach.”

Other changes include having CMO Cammie Dunaway and the Customer Experience group she leads report directly to Decker, while moving Yahoo’s Local Markets and Commerce division into the Yahoo Network division, which is led by Jeff Weiner.

With the changes, Decker now has eight direct reports, not including the yet-to-be named EVP of marketing products or Greg Coleman, who will stay on until February 2008 to assist in the transition.

For the past year or two, Coleman was among the execs most directly responsible for Yahoo’s frantic pursuit of integrated search and display media planning. He held various positions during his six-and-a-half years with the company, including EVP of North American Operations and EVP of Global Ad Sales. Until she left the company in June, Chief Sales Officer Wenda Harris Millard reported to him.

In her memo, Decker wrote that while “his leadership and expertise have helped enormously to effect a smooth transition,” Yahoo’s need to “further integrate Yahoo!’s capabilities” led to the mutually agreed upon resignation.

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