This Man Now Runs Yahoo's Most Important Property – And It's An Impossible Job

Shashi Seth

Yahoo announced a re-organisation today. 

The changes put a new executive in charge of Yahoo’s most important product, Yahoo Mail.

His name is Shashi Seth, and he’s got a hell of a task ahead of him.

Previously Seth job at Yahoo was running search.

Before that, he spent three months at AOL running ad products. Before thathis job was to try and make money running Google’s video site, YouTube.

Seth is actually he’s in charge of all of Yahoo’s “Communications” products, including Messenger, Flickr, Answers, and more – but it’s Yahoo Mail he needs to worry about.

Right now, how Yahoo works is…

  • People go to their Yahoo email
  • They flow into other Yahoo products like search or news stories.
  • Then Yahoo sells ads (search or display) against that traffic.

For a long time, this was a smart way for Yahoo to work because people were adopting Web mail more and more every year.

But now, Web-based email is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

ComScore tells us that Web-based email usage among people aged 12 to 17 is down a stunning 31% year-over-year. It’s down 21% among people aged 18 to 24.

We’re not sure why Web email is tanking for Yahoo and everyone else – do the kids use Facebook and texting? Do the olds check their email on their phones? – but it’s Seth’s job to turnaround this precipitous decline.

So, Shashi…congratulations?

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