Marissa Mayer is close to hiring Amazon’s top ad sales executive, Lisa Utzschneider, according to Kara Swisher at Re/code.
Swisher says it’s unclear what role Utzschneider would be hired for. She may be hired as a head of sales, or as a COO. Yahoo never replaced Henrique De Castro, who was COO until Mayer forced him out of the company.
Either way, Utzschneider would be an executive with sales experience to help get Yahoo pointed in the right direction.
Yahoo’s display ad business, which is supposed to be a core strength, is struggling. Last quarter, the display ad business generated $US396 million in revenue, which was down 5% on a year-over-year basis.
Since Mayer took over as CEO, Yahoo has lacked a great advertising executive who could meet with ad agencies and smooth over those relationships. Yahoo just hired Kevin Gentzel from the Washington Post to be head of sales. Industry sources we spoke with were positive on Gentzel, describing him as the sort of sales guy Yahoo needs.
It’s possible Utzschneider will be Gentzel’s boss. She has been with Amazon for six years. Previously she was at Microsoft.