Changes at the Top at Yahoo! Search and Ad Sales Units

Ted Meisel, the head of Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM) who came to the company with the Overture acquisition two years ago, will leave by the end of the year. CEO Terry Semel announced his departure during Yahoo’s Q3 earnings call on Tuesday.

Yahoo simultaneously went public with several recent reporting changes that consolidate its search and media ad sales units. Senior Vice President and General Manager David Karnstedt of Yahoo Search Marketing now reports, along with Chief Sales Officer Wenda Harris Millard, to Greg Coleman, EVP of global ad sales.

“Moving forward, the search marketing sales team will be operating under the same sales team as the brand marketing team,” said Yahoo CEO Terry Semel. “We believe there will be even closer alignment between the two groups.”

Semel noted 50 of the top 200 U.S. brand advertisers are also among the top 200 search advertisers. “The more they utilize both forms of advertising on the Yahoo network, the better they do with each,” he stated.

YSM’s product development team will report to Jeff Weiner, SVP of search. The distribution partner team reports to COO Dan Rosensweig.

A spokesperson said Meisel’s decision to exit the company was driven by a desire to “recharge, spend time with his family, and pursue public policy interests.”

The company expressed thanks for his willingness to stay on during the past two years.

“When Yahoo and Overture joined forces in 2003, Ted’s objective was to help Yahoo’s executive leaders build on the search marketing business in a way that would make the combination greater than the sum of the parts,” Yahoo said in a statement. “Since then, he’s led the successful integration of Overture’s people, technology and infrastructure into Yahoo and has built a search marketing team that consistently exceeded its goals.”

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