Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson, trying to lead a turnaround at the largest U.S. Web portal, hired former PayPal executive Sam Shrauger to help run a new consumer-commerce division.
Shrauger will co-lead the business with Mollie Spilman, a current Yahoo executive, the company said yesterday in a statement. The new unit, made up of existing Yahoo properties, will help connect consumers to marketers and merchants in categories such as autos, travel, jobs and retail goods.
“Shrauger and Spilman are two extremely talented and experienced leaders who bring unique and complementary skills to our tremendous commerce opportunity,” said Thompson, former president of PayPal, the fastest-growing division of EBay Inc. “Under their leadership, both consumers and advertisers will benefit from Yahoo’s ability to close the loop between consumer interests and advertising spend.”
Thompson, after announcing 2,000 job cuts, unveiled a restructuring of the company earlier this month aimed at fueling growth and the pace of product innovation. The reorganization realigns Yahoo into three areas: geographic regions, technology and consumers, Thompson said in a memo to employees. The company, slated to announce first-quarter results later today, is trying to reverse the loss of users and advertisers to rivals such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.
The consumer-commerce business will add new services to its existing offerings over time, the company said. In running the unit, Shrauger and Spilman will each hold the title of senior vice president and report to the CEO.
As Thompson’s former No. 2 executive at PayPal, Shrauger brings experience from the world of e-commerce, said Sameet Sinha, an analyst at B. Riley & Co. in San Francisco.
“Historically, nobody ever paid attention to that part of Yahoo,” Sinha said. He recommends buying Yahoo’s stock, which he doesn’t own himself. “It will be interesting to see what he does with this division.”
Shrauger spent 14 years developing commerce products and services, most recently as vice president of PayPal’s global product and customer-experience unit, the company said. He helped build PayPal’s merchant services business and developed products for the company’s entry into offline retail payments. Spilman, meanwhile, most recently led marketing for Yahoo’s Americas region. She used to work at AOL Inc. and Discovery Networks.
Yahoo’s stock rose 1.2 percent to $14.96 at 9:56 a.m. in New York. Shares of the Sunnyvale, California-based company have declined 8.3 percent this year before today.