Yahoo (YHOO) is trying hard to portray CTO and Product boss Ari Balogh’s departure as a personal decision, and others seem to be concluding that Ari is just another wise sailor fleeing a sinking ship.
Regardless of the truth, Ari’s exit could actually be a major positive development for the company.
Because Yahoo has one of the least innovative, most bureaucratic, and, in some cases, most dysfunctional technology/product/content organisations in the industry. And this is its chance to change that.
Case in point:
Yahoo is now an online technology and content business. Technology AND content–not one or the other. At Yahoo, however, “Product” (Technology) and “Content” are viewed as two different businesses. “Product” (Tech) determines where the content goes, “Content” determines what the content is (and, in some cases, produces it).
From the perspective of someone who runs a company that depends heavily on BOTH technology AND content (Business Insider), I have no idea how this structure can possibly succeed. In this business, Product and Content are two critical parts of the same whole, and they work together. At a company like Yahoo, you simply can’t separate the two.
So that’s one problem. Another problem is that Yahoo stopped being a technology innovation leader a decade ago. I don’t want to run around bashing individuals for that failure, but the buck has to stop somewhere. And that somewhere is usually the top.
With Ari’s departure, Carol Bartz now has an opportunity to bring a real agent of change into Yahoo, someone who can see the company’s product (Technology AND Content) not for what it has been for the past 15 years, but for what it must become to survive.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.