The latest in a string of internal shake-ups will bring together Yahoo's sales operations with the company's publisher network, corporate partnerships and HotJobs to form a "global partner solutions" division. It will be led by Hilary Schneider, a fast-rising protegee of Decker.
As part of the reorganization, Gregory Coleman, the company's top sales executive, will leave, though he will remain until February to assist in the transition, Yahoo said. Coleman will be the second senior sales executive to leave since June, when Wenda Harris Millard left amid an overhaul of Yahoo's sales force.
A steady stream of executives have left Yahoo--some voluntarily and some not--over the last year as the company has struggled with lackluster growth and its unsatisfactory showing against Google and other competitors.
As the company's problems mounted, Yahoo shares lost nearly half their value, from a high of more than $43 in January 2006. On Wednesday, shares dipped below a 52-week low of $22.44 before recovering slightly to close at $22.55, up 3 cents.
In an interview, Schneider described the latest reorganization as the continuation of a process that began in June when Yahoo merged the sales group responsible for search ads with that responsible for graphic ads.
The new division will provide an easier way for advertisers to reach customers not only on Yahoo's network of Web sites but also on the sites of Yahoo's partners, which include eBay, Comcast and a consortium of newspapers, Schneider said. It will also make it easier for partners like newspapers to sell ads on Yahoo's properties, she said.
"This integration is the logical next step," Schneider said.
Schneider was brought to Yahoo by Decker last September to run Yahoo's shopping, travel, autos, real estate and employment sites. In February, she was given responsibility for the Yahoo Publisher Network, a partnership she helped put together. The network, a vehicle for advertising and content distribution, is a consortium of hundreds of daily newspapers.
Before joining Yahoo, Schneider led the digital divisions of two newspaper chains, Knight Ridder and Times Mirror. She was also the chief executive of Red Herring Communications, the publisher of a technology magazine and a Web site, during the dot-com boom.
Her latest promotion gives her many of the responsibilities that Decker, then the chief financial officer, assumed after the company's reorganization in December. Decker became president when. A Yahoo co-founder, Jerry Yang, took over for Semel as chief executive.
"Hilary Schneider has been an obvious rising star within the organization who has ties to Sue Decker," said Scott Kessler, an analyst with Standard & Poor's. "This is a way of Sue making her impression in the organization from a management perspective."
In an e-mail message to Yahoo employees, Decker said she and Coleman had "mutually agreed" that he would leave the company to pursue other opportunities.
"I decided it was time for me to do something else," Coleman said in an interview.