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Yahoo! Loses Another Marketing Exec

Just a week after inking an important promotional deal with Sony Corp. of America, Web portal Yahoo! is parting with another of its top marketing executives.

Spokespeople said the resignation of vice president of worldwide marketing Karen Edwards has nothing to do with March's announced retirement of chief sales and marketing officer Anil Singh. In March, the company issued a statement saying that Singh was retiring, in hopes of spending more with family.

The company said that Edwards, who was not made available for interviews, would be taking time off to focus on family, and on other, unspecified opportunities.

"It has been a great privilege to be part of the team that created a brand known and loved by millions of consumers around the world," she said in a statement. "After nearly six rewarding years at Yahoo!, it's time for me to spend more time with my two-year-old child and pursue opportunities that allow me to expand upon my other interests."

Nevertheless, questions about the departure linger, especially whether Edwards' spot will be filled quickly. After all, Yahoo! has been unsuccessful in finding a replacement for Singh -- even though it's employing an outside search firm to help. Additionally, spokespeople said Yahoo! would not be using an outside firm to track down a successor to Edwards.

At any rate, Yahoo! bids farewell to a figure that fostered much of its now-considerable brand equity. Like Singh, Edwards was one of the earliest Yahoo! employees, joining the company in 1996 as employee number 19. The company credits her with establishing much of Yahoo!'s considerable brand identity at a time when dot-com marketing was but a nascent industry.

Under her, the company aimed to win over mass market consumers by focusing its advertising and marketing less on the Internet's technology and features, and more on what the Web could offer in terms of human experiences. Thus, the origin of the now-famous "Do You Yahoo?" ad campaign.

"Karen has helped us create and maintain one of our strongest core assets -- a powerful global brand," said Jerry Yang, Yahoo!'s co-founder and Chief Yahoo. "We are very grateful to Karen for her contributions to our leading industry position and wish her well."