What does Hearst hiring a new VP of Digital say about them (and Yahoo!)

It was a total kick to hear that Neeraj Khemlani, Yahoo’s general manager and executive
editor of news (appointed by Scott Moore) is heading to the Hearst Corporation as a VP of Digital reporting to Frank Bennack, who has been acting CEO since the summer.

Bennack is quoted as saying:”Hearst’s major
operating groups have all made substantial progress towards our
corporate objective of fully participating in the digital
transformation. The creation of this new position is designed to
accelerate the progress through greater cooperation and synergy across
divisional lines. Neeraj is uniquely equipped to help me and my
colleagues realize that goal.”

And Neeraj is quoted saying: “I am delighted to join Hearst Corporation. We are
witnessing the reemergence of content and media driving value in the new
world and Hearst is uniquely positioned to realize that value across
multiple digital platforms and distribution points. Remember, we’re only
in the second inning of the Internet. Hearst, with all its assets and
investments, expects to take a commanding lead by the seventh-inning
stretch.”

Can I be allowed a cackle, or a least a translation from the corporate-ese?

For those who might like to deconstruct this press release, let me offer my opinion of what the real statements are:

Benneack deciphered: “Cathie Black has a whole division with more than 20 people, headed by Chuck Cordray, and the Newspaper group has another team, headed by Lincoln Millstein, and then there is an M&A group, headed by Scott English, but none of these teams is getting us digital media revenue and revenue optimization quickly enough. so I am going to hire this fella from Yahoo! out in Silicon Valley to come in and get me more money.”

Neeraj deciphered: “I understand I am moving across the country and leaving a company whose stock is at $12.00 to take a job where I have no one reporting to me, but I have done this before and I am reporting to the CEO, so the future has great possibility.”

As for where this leaves Yahoo!, I feel badly for Hilary, who is now losing someone she knows who could have continued monetizing content for her, but so it goes, right?

And this is a perennial Yahoo! problem–they bet on people who don’t respect them enough to stay.

Over and over.

Note: Nice piece by Staci Kramer at Paid Content interviewing Neeraj