It can't be any fun fielding press queries about layoffs, reorgs, and hostile takeover three times a day. Add to Yahoo PR woes: Bitchy coworkers. Last night, a tipster sent us an account of a few "chatty Cathys" from Yahoo PR who, after a few drinks, were only too pleased tell anyone who would listen that "heads on the PR team need to roll." Yes, they named names — including the hapless Brad Williams, the target of an accusation in August that he was sleeping on the job at the company's annual meeting, a charge Williams strenuously denied.
A Yahoo tipster who sat through a webcast of the company's annual meeting lets us know that Brad Williams, Yahoo's vice president of corporate communications, was actually caught on video sleeping during the shareholder powwow. Hey, look, all those open letters from CEO Jerry Yang and chairman Roy Bostock don't write themselves, and now that barbarian shareholder Carl Icahn has been mostly placated with a board seat bribe, let the man catch a few winks, kay? Anyone who sends us a copy of the footage wins some kind of prize — such as not having to report to Williams or communications chief Jill Nash ever again. Full account of the continuing reorg and napping spokesmonkey after the jump.
CARLSBAD, CA — For most of their D conference interviews, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg trade off interview duties. But why was Mossberg the one to do the D6 interview with Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and president Sue Decker? Swisher frequently covers Yahoo in her AllThingsD.com blog; I can't think of the last time Mossberg has typed the letters "y-a-h-o-o" in his gadget reviews. Here's my theory: Decker and Yang agreed to speak at D6, but only if Mossberg was the interviewer, not Swisher. Then Swisher tweaked them by asking a question — not on stage, but on video. If so, serves Yang and Decker right for not nailing down all the conditions. Think they'll be having words with Yahoo flack Jill Nash afterwards? (Photo by Asa Mathat/AllThingsD.com)
This morning, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made the usual polite noises about "integrating" Yahoo's management into Microsoft. The reality? Come on. They're all fired, except for the geeks. If Microsoft had any respect for current management, they would have negotiated a friendly deal instead of launching a takeover. Most of the executive suite will be gone, I bet, within six months if the takeover succeeds. Here are the details on who's in and who's out, starting at the top.
Is it any wonder why Yahoo's image is so unpolished? The ranks of top PR people available to buff it have been rapidly shrinking. And with CEO Jerry Yang all but hiding in a cave, there's been little for the survivors to do. The latest departure: Joanna Stevens, to parts unknown. That Stevens, an eight-year Yahoo veteran, would leave on such short notice, without another job lined up, is telling. It means, in short, that this ultimate Yahoo loyalist has finally tired of the company's mismanagement. Before new PR chief Jill Nash came on board, Stevens briefly ran the department, and she was close to former CEO Terry Semel (shown here with Stevens and Tom Cruise). When even the company's designated cheerleaders are turning in their pom-poms, you know the team is losing. (Photo by Joanna Stevens)