Yahoo’s Senior VP of Engineering to Become Chief Product Officer

Over on Gigaom, Om Malik reports that Yahoo will name Ash Patel, the senior VP of engineering as their new chief product officer (CPO). Patel will replace Geoff Ralston, who according to Malik, is leaving for “parts unknown.”

Om writes:

I sat next to Ash, and got into a spirited discussion about why Yahoo is really all about My.Yahoo.Com. My contention is that forget search, because Yahoo has something better than that. My.Yahoo.Com is no longer a portal page, but instead an ?attention page? which can be and should be leveraged to become the aggregator site for complicated digital life. Ash, who spent a lot of time on that particular page – building it I mean – agreed.

I wonder what, if any plans, Yahoo has for their uncluttered and ad-free search interface at In the past year they have modules with news headlines, email access, and stock index info. In many ways it has the potential to be a My Yahoo Lite that could also work on Yahoo’s mobile platform. It would also be useful to offer a module with recommended posts (personalization) from feeds you subscribe too? How about allowing developers the chance to build modules for this page? This page already allows the user to customize which search tabs are visible. Although in the past few months they have made it a challenge to do this. One thing is for sure, when I show the page to end users during presentations, I almost always here and audible “oooh and aaah” with people going on to say that they had no clue that it existed and they’re thrilled to know about it.

Om also reports that Yahoo Instant Messenger for the Mac (aka Mac Communicator) should be coming soon.

Bow, the departure of Geoff Ralston is yet another Yahoo exec leaving. In the past few weeks we’ve blogged about several others departing Yahoo including:

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