SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc.'s (YHOO.O) top sales executive is leaving the company in the latest reorganization by President Susan Decker that merges sales into a broader division seeking new partnership deals such as ones it has struck with eBay, Comcast and newspaper publishers.
Gregory Coleman, the company's executive vice president of global sales, is leaving Yahoo "to pursue other opportunities" Decker said in a memo sent to employees late on Wednesday. Coleman will play a transitional role until February of 2008.
Coleman is being replaced by Hillary Schneider, an executive vice president in charge of the Internet media company's local markets and commerce unit, who is to head up the newly created "global partner solutions" unit. The division will include U.S. sales, marketing and business development.
In the memo, Decker said the reorganization will allow Yahoo to strike up relationships with other Web site publishers to give Yahoo a far wider range of advertising inventory to sell to advertisers, ad networks and advertising agencies.
"We will be able to much more quickly identify and secure the ad inventory that best meets our advertisers' objectives," she said.
In July, recently elevated Chief Executive Jerry Yang said he would deliver a new strategic plan for the company within 100 days that will help the company respond to rapid changes in consumer behavior on the Web and competition from rival Google Inc (GOOG.O), the top provider of search advertising.
Beyond efforts to strike more partnerships with large customers, the Global Partner Solutions unit will be in charge of sales of all advertising formats, including search, corporate brand display, video, mobile, paid listings, etc.
It will also serve customers of all sizes, including marketing to small business customers, the memo described.
Business development deals for Yahoo's content division -- properties that range from music to news to sports to finance -- and its mobile business unit will continue to operate separately, according to Decker.
Schneider, the executive who spearheaded Yahoo's recent advertising sales partnership with various newspaper publishing groups, will be in charge of advertising sales, Yahoo's publisher network, corporate partnerships and the company's job recruitment service HotJobs, Decker said in the employee memo.
For more than a year, Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo has been seeking to expand its business by delivering its media and advertising to businesses off of the core Yahoo network of properties.
These deals include one with eBay Inc. (EBAY.O) to sell advertising to the online auction's sites U.S. sites and another with Comcast for Yahoo's sales force to sell online display and video advertising for the Comcast.net site.
Under Schneider, Yahoo has also set up a consortium for newspaper publishers to sell online advertising through hundreds of newspaper sites, in a move to help shore up publishers suffering from declining classified ad sales.
Coleman, a 25-year-veteran of the media and publishing industries, joined Yahoo in 2001 and oversaw the expansion of Yahoo's online advertising sales into a $6 billion business from a $600 million one when he started earlier this decade.