Yahoo Hires Ad Sales Chief

Wenda Harris Millard, who was recently ousted from Ziff Davis Media’s Internet division after jumping there from a top post at DoubleClick, is Yahoo!’s choice for chief advertising sales officer, a position in which she will be responsible for leading the company’s North American ad sales operation.

The appointment is critical for Yahoo!, which has been struggling in the weak ad market and has lost two of its top sales and marketing execs this year. Chief sales and marketing officer Anil Singh, the company’s 21st employee, left in March after five years at the company. In August, the company announced the departure of vice president of worldwide marketing Karen Edwards. Presumably, Millard will take on many of the same responsibilities handled by Singh, whose chief sales and marketing position was never filled after his leaving, despite the company’s hiring of an executive search firm.

“It’s an honor for me to accept this position and I’m looking forward to working closely with leading companies to develop customized solutions that will take their marketing programs to the highest level,” said Millard in a statement. “I firmly believe that the Internet is a powerful tool in the marketer’s arsenal and I am more enthusiastic than ever about the strength of the medium.”

Millard most recently hails from Ziff Davis Media, where she was president and chief executive officer of the company’s Internet division. Her departure in late August followed the ousting of chief executive Jim Dunning, who likely recruited Millard and had worked with her previously at media/marketing information provider SRDS.

Prior to Ziff Davis, Millard had been executive vice president and one of the founders of DoubleClick, where she oversaw DoubleClick Media and its advertising sales organization. Her experience in traditional media includes a role as senior VP and publisher of Family Circle, and she has also served as executive vice president/group publisher of Adweek, Mediaweek and Brandweek magazines.

Yahoo! used the occasion of Millard’s appointment to introduce recently-appointed regional heads of its advertising sales operation. Handling the Eastern region is John Glascott, who joined the company in July; Jon Schwartz, previously regional vice president of the central region, is heading up the Western region; and Charles Thomas, formerly a sales executive, has been promoted to oversee the central region.

Additionally, Yahoo! has created the position of chief solutions officer and promoted Tim Sanders to fill the position. Sanders will focus on customer acquisition, brand awareness, sales strategies, customer needs, and partner relationships. Sanders previously created and led a consultative practice inside Yahoo!.

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