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Amazon advertising sales executives joins Yahoo

Published: 09 Dec 2014 02:54:13 PST

Yahoo names Lisa Utzschneider, who headed sales of display ads on, as senior vice president of advertising in the Americas.

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Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. named former Inc. executive Lisa Utzschneider as senior vice president of its advertising business in the Americas, bolstering the leadership team as it seeks to jump-start sales.

Utzschneider, who most recently led Amazon’s display advertising efforts, will report to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, the company said today in a statement. She replaces Ned Brody, who will assume the new role of senior vice president of advertising technology and strategy. Brody will report to Utzschneider.

Mayer, more than two years into an attempted turnaround at the Web portal, is looking for new ways to drive sales growth as she comes under pressure from activist shareholder Starboard Value LP. Last week, Yahoo reported a third-quarter revenue gain of 1.5 percent, and analysts estimate sales will be unchanged for the year. Mayer fired chief operating officer Henrique de Castro earlier this year.

“Lisa has a demonstrated track record as a leader and as a business builder, focused on creating and expanding sales relationships,” Mayer said in the statement. “She brings unique strengths to Yahoo in terms of identifying new opportunities to maximize the value of advertising in a rapidly expanding and evolving media landscape.”

Before joining Amazon in 2008, Utzschneider worked at Microsoft Corp. for 10 years, Sunnyvale, CA-based Yahoo said.

Amazon’s advertising business has shown promise. The company, the largest online retailer, is projected to grab 1.7 percent of the U.S. digital-ad market this year, up from 1.4 percent in 2013, according to researcher EMarketer Inc. Yahoo’s share may fall to 4.9 percent in 2014 from 5.8 percent.

Mayer needs to show improvement. Starboard has questioned her management and called for Yahoo to break itself up to unlock shareholder value. The activist firm is also pushing for her to curb acquisitions and focus more on cutting costs.

By Bloomberg News
October 30, 2014, 3:48 PM

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