It’s the third job in less than two years for Bradford, who left a long-term gig as chief of MSN’s media sales operation in March 2008 to join SpotRunner. She was there only six months before heading to Yahoo in September 2008 to become SVP of U.S. revenue and market development.
Like her move two years ago from MSN to SpotRunner, her new role with Demand Media will take her out of the portal spotlight and into the fast-paced and relatively obscure world of a hyped startup.
Demand Media is a rapidly growing content development company that operates eHow, Lance Armstrong Foundation’s LiveStrong.com, and Trails.com, among other sites. Its business model involves developing and sourcing content, in part by analyzing search activity and ad rates associated with keywords. Some of that content is hosted and monetized on its owned and operated sites, and some of it on a network of sites that syndicate Demand’s content.
Bradford’s job at Demand will be to attract brand advertisers to the company’s owned and operated sites, as well as to drive adoption of its content creation services and its social media product for businesses, called Pluck. Pluck customers include BF Goodrich, Kraft Foods, Lowes, and Whole Foods.
Bradford will report to CEO and co-founder Richard Rosenblatt. The news was first reported by AllThingsDigital.
Her move comes as a blow to Yahoo, which is eager to make sure all its cylinders fire in unison for large branding campaigns, such as one it just completed for Walmart. Bradford’s job entailed making sure the company’s various ad sales teams could pull off such complicated campaigns.
Additionally, Bradford was slated to play an important part in Yahoo’s search partnership with Bing, according to the report in AllThingsDigital. Under that deal, Yahoo is to handle all human-sold search ad campaigns, while Microsoft will handle self-serve campaigns. It appears likely Bradford’s involvement in the deal entailed the direct sales portion of the search alliance.
In a statement, Yahoo confirmed Bradford’s departure was the result of her own decision. It said, “Joanne will be working with the team over the coming weeks to enable a smooth transition.”
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