Yahoo executives are discussing a plan to centralize numerous product groups such as its mail, search and home-page divisions into a global-product...

Share story

WASHINGTON — Yahoo executives are discussing a plan to centralize numerous product groups such as its mail, search and home-page divisions into a global-product organization, a media report said Friday.

The Wall Street Journal reported Yahoo President Susan Decker is pushing the plan.

Decker has been trying to improve communication between Yahoo’s product teams and overseas-sales groups, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. Some details could be announced as soon as next week, the report said.

In a statement, Yahoo said the company does not comment on speculation but noted that it has “a deep and talented management team across all areas of the company.”

Yahoo also said, “Our successful implementation of our core strategies and the timely rollout of key products this year testifies to the effectiveness of our team, and we continue to recruit outstanding talent.”

Losses amid Yahoo’s ranks, including Jeff Weiner from the networks unit and Qi Lu from the search business, may make it harder for the company to prosper on its own.

“It’s going to cause a cave-in from the top down,” Colin Gillis, a Canaccord Adams Inc. analyst in New York, said of the lost top engineering talent. He recommends selling the shares.

Chief Data Officer Usama Fayyad is leaving, The New York Times said last week, citing a person familiar with the move. The TechCrunch blog said Thursday that Senior Vice President Brad Garlinghouse and Joshua Schachter, who founded a Web-application company Yahoo bought, are departing as well.

It was Garlinghouse who recommended cutting staff by as much as 20 percent in a memo leaked to The Wall Street Journal in November 2006. The memo, called “The Peanut Butter Manifesto,” said too many Yahoo employees had overlapping responsibilities.

The changes reportedly under consideration come at a time when the company is under fire for its handling of a buyout offer from Microsoft that proved for nought.

Yahoo is now facing a proxy campaign led by billionaire Carl Icahn, who wants to replace the company’s board in the hope of resuming talks with Microsoft.

Microsoft has said it’s no longer interested in a merger with Yahoo. Negotiations on a limited deal in which Microsoft would buy Yahoo’s search business also collapsed.

Yahoo has since signed with archrival Google a controversial outsourcing deal.

Shares of Yahoo traded down nearly 3 percent Friday morning, as the stock market sustained the latest in a string of recent losses.

Material from Bloomberg News was used in this report.