Yahoo! Marketing Head Resigns

  |  October 18, 2002   |  Comments

After just over a year on the job, John Costello is departing for an offline gig.

John Costello has resigned his post as chief marketing officer at Yahoo , after about a year on the job, the company confirmed.

Costello now heads across the country from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo to Atlanta, where he will take over as chief marketing officer for The Home Depot .

The company waved away suggestions that the move would set back Yahoo's efforts to transition itself from being wholly dependent on advertising revenue, to a mix of ads and paid consumer and business services.

"Those areas have really strong leaders in place, some who were in place before John's arrival, and some who he appointed," said a spokesperson for Yahoo. "By virtue of the strength of the people we have under John, we feel very confident they can carry it forward until a successor is named."

Costello joined the portal as part of a management overhaul that came about in the wake of Terry Semel's appointment to the post of chairman and chief executive. During the restructuring, Yahoo parted ways with a number of its founding executives and early employees, in favor of more seasoned managers who were expected to help lead the company's transition.

Like many of those who followed Semel, Costello came to Yahoo with experience at both dot-coms and at big-name traditional firms. In his particular case, that included Procter & Gamble and Sears .

While at the company, Costello oversaw Yahoo's worldwide strategic branding and marketing, including the development of new premium services for consumers and new marketing solutions for clients.

Most recently, that effort included co-branded DSL service, launched in connection with SBC Communications .

Many also pegged Costello's appearance at Yahoo to be the lynchpin of its rebranding effort. As senior executive vice president of Sears, Roebuck & Co., where he was employed from 1993 to 1998, he worked on the successful "Softer Side of Sears" effort to re-fashion the retailer's ailing brand.

Meanwhile, Home Depot said Costello now would report to its chairman, president and chief executive, Bob Nardelli. In the new post, he'll be responsible for the company's worldwide marketing and advertising, branding and research.

Prior to Yahoo, Costello served as president and CEO of, the online sporting goods and outdoor commerce company. He also served as president of AutoNation, the automotive retailing company, and as president and chief operating officer of Nielsen Marketing Research, USA, which he joined after stints at P&G and Sears.

"With the unique breadth and depth of his experience, John not only shares a passion for being customer-focused, but is the perfect player to help us position and build the Home Depot brand for the future and achieve our aggressive growth goals," Nardelli said in a statement.

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