UPDATE: We have the answers to the mysteries laid out below. Please see bottom of post.
EARLIER: As we and others reported yesterday, MySpace has hired Wenda Harris Millard to temporarily oversee its sales force.
As this news reverberated around the web, however, a key detail got buried: Wenda will be leading MySpace’s sales force as president of Media Link, Michael Kassan’s ad consulting firm.
Many people assumed that Wenda was joining MySpace full time, as head of sales. These reports led to a rather bizarre response from Wenda, who is vacationing in the Adriatic:
rumours of Wenda Harris Millard’s imminent plans to join MySpace are categorically false, the former head of Martha Stewart Living Co. told Online Media Daily on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s not true, and I’m furious that this is being reported as fact,” said Millard, who is presently vacationing on the Adriatic Sea. “This has ruined my vacation.”
Two quick questions:
- Why is MySpace hiring a consulting firm to lead its sales force, even temporarily? Why not just hire a strong head of sales?
- Why would the erroneous belief that Wenda was headed to MySpace full-time make her furious and ruin her vacation?
UPDATE: We spoke to a source who knows what the heck’s going on:
Media Link, the ad consulting firm run by Michael Kassan that Wenda Harris Millard joined a few months ago, has been in talks with MySpace for several months about a consulting assignment. Very recently, MySpace’s sales guru Jeff Berman informed MySpace that he was leaving. MySpace then decided to increase the scope of Media Link’s consulting assignment to include finding a new sales head and temporarily overseeing the sales force in the interim.
Wenda Harris Millard will help with that assignment. She will also continue to serve Media Link’s other clients. So she won’t really be running MySpace’s sales force, at least not in the way a full-time sales head would.
Yesterday, when reports started banging around that Wenda Harris Millard was “joining” MySpace to run sales, Media Link’s other clients freaked. Media Link spent much of the day reassuring its other clients that Wenda wasn’t going anywhere. Wenda, vacationing in the Adriatic, got besieged.
It was therefore not the embarrassment of the idea that she might be leaving Media Link to join hobbling MySpace that made Wenda Harris Millard “furious” about the erroneous reports. It was the fact that she had to waste time assuring Media Link’s other clients that she wasn’t jumping ship.
(OK, we’re just speculating here, but maybe it was a little bit the perception that she might be taking a job at MySpace).
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