Yahoo wants change, pure and simple

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Six weeks after Carol Bartz replaced Jerry Yang as Yahoo's CEO, the company said Thursday that it will get a new CFO and make several restructuring moves designed to simplify the business.

"You'd be amazed at how complicated some things are here," Bartz wrote on Yahoo's corporate blog.

Beyond her blogging, an e-mail to employees and a regulatory filing, Yahoo executives weren't talking about the restructuring. That includes senior vp Michael Walrath, who spoke at the fifth annual Jeffries Internet & Media Conference in New York.

Instead, Walrath complained that Internet companies "just make it too hard" on ad buyers.

"If I'm a buyer and I want to spend $10 million on TV, I can do that with a phone call," he said.

With the Internet, though, it takes dozens of partners and other red tape that could add months to the process, he said.

Walrath's plea for simplicity also was a theme in Bartz's blog entry.

"I'm rolling out a new management structure that I believe will make Yahoo a lot faster on its feet," she wrote.

Bartz saved her mention of the resignation of CFO Blake Jorgensen for an e-mail to employees. She said he will stay with the company through a transition period.

Jorgensen was brought aboard two years ago by his friend Sue Decker, the Yahoo president who announced her intent to leave the firm when Bartz was named CEO.

Other changes at Yahoo include the resignation of Marco Boerries, head of the Connected Life group that focused on mobile devices, and the addition of Elisa Steele as chief marketing officer beginning March 23. She is a senior vp at NetApp.

Bartz's e-mail to employees also says she has combined tech and product groups under one roof to be led by Ari Balogh and that she has created a new team called service engineering and operations under David Dibble, who joined Yahoo three months ago.

In her blog, Bartz also announced her intention to create a customer advocacy group, though she didn't say exactly what that means.

"In the past few years, we haven't been as clear in showing the world what the Yahoo brand stands for," she wrote. "We're going to change that. Look for this company's brand to kick ass again."

Investors seemed to like the news, bidding Yahoo shares up 4% on Thursday to $12.98, about 61% lower than the price Microsoft offered for the company last year.
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