Sometime last month, Yahoo shipped product management, engineering and design responsibilities for Yahoo News to Taiwan.
The people who create content for Yahoo’s hugely popular media property — it’s the number one news site on the Web — remain in Sunnyvale.
As recently as January 2009, Yahoo News product development and content creation all happened in one place: Yahoo Santa Monica.
In February, Yahoo pulled product development back to its Sunnyvale HQ.
Kara Swisher, who reported both changes says the goal for both moves was to “drives efficiencies, save money, eliminate redundancies and accelerate growth across the world.”
But not everyone at Yahoo is happy with the arrangement.
One source told Kara, “We are losing more and more of our ability to make quick changes and react to new technologies, which has worked pretty well so far, since we are #1. First, we all worked together across a room, then hundreds of miles away and now it is thousands.”
Kara also interviewed Yahoo Media SVP Jeff Kinder, who lead the changing strategy. He was more optimistic:
He said it was key that Yahoo News streamline how it makes its products, in order to be more innovative and responsive on a global basis.
Before the shift to a global system, he pointed out Yahoo had 26 different news products worldwide, using nine content management systems.
“This is part of building a global media platform,” said Kinder, who leads development of Yahoo’s anchor media properties, as well as its listings and regional products around the world.
Kinder said the staff in Taiwan was selected to take on Yahoo News, because they had been creating top-level news products and were passionate about the arena.
Nonetheless, similar functions for other major Yahoo content categories–Sports, Finance and Entertainment–will still remain in the United States.
In addition, he noted, with employees in Taiwan taking over these functions at Yahoo News, it would “free up some of the talent” in Silicon Valley to work on other critical content projects.