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Yahoo’s chief sales officer Wenda Harris Millard is leaving the company. paidContent.org has learned that she is joining Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) as the
Chief Media Officer President, Media. This change comes amidst other senior management changes in the company, including Jerry Yang taking over as CEO and Susan Decker taking over as president of the company. Interestingly, there was a New York Post story this Friday Thursday hinting at how other companies and ad agencies may be wooing Harris to leave. She was recruited by then-CEO Terry Semel in 2001 to be the company’s chief of ad sales, is widely credited with Yahoo’s (NSDQ: YHOO) display ad sales turnaround….she is also very well respected within the Madison Avenue circles, something Yahoo continues to need, especially now. At MSLO, Holly Brown, the president of Internet, is also an ex-Yahoo executive…she was chief of staff for then-COO Dan Rosensweig, before she left and joined MSLO in 2005. Not exactly sure what Harris Millard’ new responsibilities will be as the Chief Media Officer.
On Yahoo’s side, it has taken a major step and has combined its search and display advertising sales teams in the US, and has appointed David Karnstedt, currently SVP of Yahoo’s Search sales business, to lead the merged team as Head of North American Sales. Karnstedt will continue to report to Gregory Coleman, Yahoo’s EVP of Global Sales. This company says this transition continues the steps Yahoo has been taking since the beginning of the year to organize product management, engineering, and distribution around marketing customers rather than advertising products. The company is currently integrating the search and display advertising sales teams, and will release details about the structure of the organization and the executives that will lead it soon. More details on Yahoo’s side of the changes here.
Staci adds: We gather the ad sales integration has been in the works for weeks and that Millard’s departure could well be the result. More to come on Yahoo’s plans and Millard’s role at MSLO.
Update: The official announcement is out and Millard’s actual title is president of Media reporting to Susan Lyne, president and CEO of MSLO. She’ll oversee MSLO’s media businesses, which include publishing, internet and broadcasting.