An internal Yahoo memo written last week by Senior Vice President Brad Garlinghouse has been leaked to the press and urges a major organizational shake up which would cut 20% of the current Yahoo workforce.
In what may become a nightmare public relations day tomorrow, the restructuring of Yahoo may be just what the companyneeds in an effort to concentrate on its core search, social media, entertainment and monetization efforts while trimming a bit of the fat (or the peanut butter oil).
In what can be seen as an aggresive move by the Yahoo SVP, his ‘Peanut Butter Manifesto’ is as follows:
Three and half years ago, I enthusiastically joined Yahoo! The magnitude of the opportunity was only matched by the magnitude ofthe assets. And an amazing team has been responsible for rebuilding Yahoo!
It has been a profound experience. I am fortunate to have been a part of dramatic change for the Company. And our successes speak for themselves. More users than ever, more engaging than ever and more profitable than ever!
I proudly bleed purple and, yellow everyday! And like so many people here, I love this company
Butall is not well. Last Thursday’s NY Times article was a blessing in the disguise of a painful public flogging. While it lacked accurate details, its conclusions rang true, and thus was a much needed wake up call. But also a call to action. A clear statement with which I, and far too many Yahoo’s, agreed. And thankfully a reminder. A reminder that the measure of any person is not in how many times heor she falls down – but rather the spirit and resolve used to get back up. The same is now true of our Company.
It’s time for us to get back up.
I believe we must embrace our problems and challenges and that we must take decisive action. We have the opportunity – in fact the invitation – to send a strong, clear and powerful message to our shareholders and Wall Street, to our advertisers and ourpartners, to our employees (both current and future), and to our users. They are all begging for a signal that we recognize and understand our problems, and that we are charting a course for fundamental change, Our current course and speed simply will not get us there. Short-term band-aids will not get us there.
It’s time for us to get back up and seize this invitation.
I imagine there’s muchdiscussion amongst the Company’s senior most leadership around the challenges we face. At the risk of being redundant, I wanted to share my take on our current situation and offer a recommended path forward, an attempt to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
Recognizing Our Problems
We lack a focused, cohesive vision for our company. We want to do everything and be everything– to everyone. We’ve known this for years, talk about it incessantly, but do nothing to fundamentally address it. We are scared to be left out. We are reactive instead of charting an unwavering course. We are separated into silos that far too frequently don’t talk to each other. And when we do talk, it isn’t to collaborate on a clearly focused strategy, but rather to argue and fight about ownership,strategies and tactics.
Our inclination and proclivity to repeatedly hire leaders from outside the company results in disparate visions of what winning looks like – rather than a leadership team rallying around a single cohesive strategy.
I’ve heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thinlayer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular.
I hate peanut butter. We all should.
We lack clarity of ownership and accountability. The most painful manifestation of this is the massive redundancy that exists throughout the organization. We now operate in an organizational structure – admittedly created with the best of intentions – that has...