Coup for Yahoo as it lures former Channel 5 boss to European arm
Jim Armitage is the City editor of The Independent and London Evening Standard group of newspapers. He has been a reporter and editor for more than 20 years and was recently shortlisted for the Press Gazette financial journalist of the year and The Society of Editors financial journalist of the year awards. He contributes news, investigative reports and comment to the Independent titles plus a daily column in the Evening Standard.
Wednesday 21 August 2013
Yahoo's chief executive Marissa Mayer last night hired one of Britain's leading commercial television executives, Dawn Airey, to run the internet group's European operations.
The 52-year-old's pedigree at Channel 5, ITV and BSkyB was taken as a signal that Ms Mayer is planning on focusing Yahoo's future on building video advertising revenues.
Yahoo has been struggling to find a role for itself in an internet world in which it has been eclipsed by Ms Mayer's former employer, Google, and seen more recent newcomers like Facebook and Twitter rival it for advertisers' dollars.
Ms Airey's most recent role was at the RTL European television group majority-owned by Germany's Bertelsmann, although she left that business in April after five years. The Lancashire-born executive who once described herself as being "tough but with a soft centre" has been nicknamed "scary Airey" and "Zulu Dawn" by staff at her previous companies but she is widely seen as being a smart and respected operator.
Analysts said it was the most significant hire yet of Ms Mayer since she took the chief executive's role a year ago. Industry executives said Ms Airey's decision would be seen as a vote of confidence in the company whose share of global digital advertising spend is expected to shrink to 3.1 per cent from 3.4 per cent by the end of the year, according to analysts eMarketer.
As Ms Airey is acutely aware from her experience at the top of Britain's television industry, advertisers have increasingly been moving from TV to the internet, offering a potential growth avenue for Yahoo.
She said: "To be part of the Yahoo renaissance was simply irresistible for me."
She will replace Rich Riley in the post which has been vacant since he left last April. This year he took the job as chief executive of music website Shazam.
Ms Airey will be fighting for advertising revenues with another high-profile female executive hired this year – Facebook's new European boss Nicola Mendelsohn.
The European, Middle East and Africa division of Yahoo currently employs about 700 staff after a big cull launched last April during a restructuring of the business.
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 3 Alton Towers Air breaks down: 80 people stuck on broken down Monorail during heatwave
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...