Yahoo has named Elisa Steele, former marketing exec at NetApp, as its new chief marketer. The firm’s new CEO Carol Bartz has a connection to Steele through enterprise application firm NetApp, where Bartz serves on the board of directors. In hiring Steele, Bartz indicated a desire to centralize Yahoo’s marketing teams and strategy.
Yahoo has not had a permanent chief marketing officer since October 2007, when Cammie Dunaway resigned from the post after a four-year stint. According to a Yahoo spokesperson, Bartz decided to re-establish the position.
The new CMO hails from NetApp, where she served as SVP of corporate marketing, handling a similar set of responsibilities. Steele also has management experience at Sun, AT&T, iPlanet eCommerce Solutions, and JavaSoft.
“Yahoo!’s marketing strategy and teams have become decentralized over time; hiring Elisa in the CMO role will quickly mobilize our plan to integrate the function globally and more effectively represent the Yahoo brand,” noted Bartz in a company statement.
Steele’s is the first major executive hire announced by Yahoo since Bartz took over the foundering company in January. The move could signal a shift at Yahoo toward recruiting from outside the digital media industry. Soon after her appointment as CEO, Bartz, previously CEO at design software firm Autodesk, suggested that her own tech-centric background will not prevent her from understanding the media market. “Media versus technology, that’s a lot of nonsense,” she said during a press conference in January.
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