Leanophiles know that all organizations have value streams… the sequence of operations that creates value, and generally some tag-along waste, for the customer. A known effective organizational structure is one aligned along those value streams. So what value streams does an internet company like Yahoo have? Delivering search value, advertising value, interactive social networking value? We may never truly find out.
Not yet six weeks into the job, Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Carol Bartz is preparing a company-wide reorganization that underscores the new CEO's belief in a more top-down managerial approach.
The plan aims to speed-up decision-making and give Yahoo products a more consistent appearance by consolidating certain functions that have previously been spread out across the company — like product development and marketing — into single, standalone departments, people familiar with the matter say.
Now I don't know the specifics, but I can hypothesize on them. That's my right, even if I'm wrong. So I'm guessing that there will now be a single marketing entity responsible for selling rather disparate products, a single development organization responsible for new products touching radically different types of customers. It doesn't stop there.
But of course all customers from all countries want the same thing! Hmmm… Behold, the silos!
Good luck, Yahoo.
david foster says
So, if Carol Bartz was running GE, would she consolidate “product development and marketing” for jet engines, locomotives, dishwashers, and wind turbines all in one centralized organization?
This kind of thing specifically does not “speed up decision-making”..it slows it down, because decisions that would have been the responsibility of a business unit general manager are now kicked all the way up to the CEO.
Admittedly, the GE comparison is a little unfair, in that Yahoo’s products are more closely interrelated to one another than are GE’s….still, I’m not getting a good feeling from this reorg, and doubt that I’ll be buying any Yahoo stock anytime soon.
The book “What Would Google Do?” is outstanding and would provide a roadmap for Bartz, if she weren’t so into herself and her top-down management.
There’s a good video summary of the concepts in the book here:
Bill Waddell says
Perhaps she was enough of a know-it-all to micro-manage $350 million AutoDesk without the help of anyone’s brain but her own, but I believe that $7 billion Yahoo will be a bit tougher. How self-absorbed, how arrogant, how full of yourself do you have to be to set up a top down structure in a 15,000 people organization and put yourself at the top?
Mark Graban says
Do a google search for “Carol Bartz” “top down” and there are so many results…
The words that come up in the articles (in the snippets you can see from Google) include:
and some how
How does more control and authority lead to streamlined and simplified in a modern corporation?
It’s no surprise these words also appear regarding Yahoo employees:
I’d short Yahoo big time. We just found our next AOL.
Who will remember Yahoo in 10 years?