Sina CEO Internal Letter on Restructure and “Mobile First” Strategy

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Sina just underwent a major shake-up in this week as the company announced a restructure in which its main businesses were split into two major ones, namely traditional portal business and the new Weibo division.

Charles Cao, also known by Cao Guowei in Chinese, sent an internal email to all Sina staff on the reorganization, claiming Sina’s new spotlight would be shining on ‘mobile’.

We obtained the email and have it partly translated below:

Dear colleagues,

New fiscal year is around the corner as 2012 going away. I want to thank you all for the hard work over the past year, and I also want to share with you some strategic thinking and restructure of the company in 2013.

In 2012, we have made many achievements but with some setbacks. Our company’s user pool and traffic of portal site and weibo have been increasing both on PC and mobile fronts. The rising of weibo is especially remarkable. The monetization of weibo also has a good start. Looking back, we can see mobile Internet has been flourishing and the related products and business models are evolving rapidly, with the competitive landscape of the industry drastically changed. Our former internal structure might be not nimble enough to adapt to ferocious competition on a strategic level and in efficiency, so we have to make moves.

In the coming year, our core strategy will be ‘Mobile First‘, at the same time focusing on core business and efficiency. So we must focus on our core businesses, totally embrace it and put more resource into mobile effort. So Sina decided to split its main businesses into two major ones, including portal site and weibo with their respective focuses on both PC and mobile fronts. The two businesses will have their own products, technology and operations. We intend to have a clearer positioning and the structure to achieve synergies between them.

To be specific, the changes are as followed:

Portal Business:

1) Set up a technology department for portal business, which is responsible for developing products for portal site and offering technology support.

2) The former video and blog team will be merged with the operation team of portal business.

3) Chen Tong, EVP of the company will continue to oversee the operation of the portal site and report to Du Hong, new head of portal business.

 

Weibo Business:

1)     The former mobile weibo products and technology team in wireless business division and the former weibo monetization team will be both reorganized into Weibo business.

2)    The former music business division and other weibo-related efforts would be merged into weibo business division.

3)    Establishing independent weibo open platform division, consisting of the former weibo open platform team and the weibo commercialization team. The new division accounts for formulating the rules and strategies for weibo open platform, partnering with vertical fields and building the weibo ecology system.

 

Misc.:

1)     Set up a dedicated product innovation department, responsible for incubating new products.

2)    Game business division continues to take charge of cross-platform value-added service such as gaming, lottery and reading platform.

The changes take effect today.

This is Sina’s first restructures in many years. It’s aiming at improving execution and competitiveness. Weibo and mobile Internet mean both opportunities and challenges to us. Challenges come from the technical innovation of Internet products, from competition, and more from our awareness and ability to revamp ourselves. Advancing over time is the foundation of sustainable development for any company, especially for an Internet company like us. Catching the pace of the changing era is not merely a slogan, but an attitude and ability for every Sina staff. Let’s embrace changes and drive Sina to take off again in the age of mobile internet with our passion and creativity!

Wish you a happy new year!

Yours Sincerely,

CEO, Cao Guowei

December 28, 2012