Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Zod's Departure is an Opportunity

Zod Nazem announced this afternoon that he'll be leaving his post as head of one of Yahoo!'s three pillars (Technology Group) on June 8th - just prior to Yahoo!'s annual meeting.

Zod is a longtime Yahoo! Over the years, he's had his share of Valleywag critics, but insiders I've spoken to talk about the many strengths he brought to the organization. I wish him well in his new endeavors.

For Yahoo!, this creates some more management uncertainty -- which had started to be resolved with Blake Jorgensen's hiring a couple of weeks ago as CFO. Today, two of the 3 main groups for the company are without a leader. (We're still waiting on a head of the Audience Group, even though Jeff Weiner's been doing his best not to leave that group rudderless.)

Yet, every crisis brings opportunity. In our view, the Technology group at Yahoo! has been underfunded and overlooked over the past 6 years. The neglect of Overture leading to the current "catch-up" frenzy with Panama is one example. The group deserves a strong new leader and some more resources to get the job done. Let's hope it takes less than 6 months to find that person. More drift is not what Yahoo! needs now.

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