Last week two sources claimed that contrary to conventional wisdom, this was a great time to hire online ad execs. The theory: AOL and Microsoft were converging some of their ad teams, and Yahoo’s was shrinking against its will. So there were plenty of experienced bodies out there.
Now, a reality check: Brock Purpura, CEO of online ad network Etology, says there are Yahoos a-plenty in the marketplace — but they’re not cheap. Etology wants to expand its sales force from 20 to 50-60 in the next few months. But Purpura’s planning to open a New York office in June in hopes hiring will be easier here than in the Valley. He says idled Wall Streeters are perfect for the ad networks’ numbers-focused business model.
Why is it hard to hire a sales force in Silicon Valley? Says Brock: (1) A bumper crop of ad-supported startups are competing for talent and handing out plenty of equity, so Yahoos leaving have options (2) You can outsource tech to Shanghai or Mumbai, but you can’t outsource sales. The upshot: experienced ad execs are can expect to pull down $200k-$250k.