Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Peachy Keane? Will Yahoo Hold Onto Associated Content CEO?

Earlier this week, Yahoo acquired social content start-up Associated Content for $90 million.

While founder Luke Beatty was prominently presented by Yahoo (YHOO) as the face of the deal, CEO Patrick Keane, pictured here, was oddly missing from most of the PR around the media-focused acquisition.

The reason, according to several sources at Yahoo: Yahoo’s top execs have not yet persuaded Keane to stay after the purchase is complete.

It’s not for lack of trying. Yahoo execs–such as CEO Carol Bartz and even co-founder Jerry Yang–have been trying to get Keane signed up, a move made more difficult since Keane got a big slug of cash in the payout of the deal.

One issue: What job would Keane get? One possibility among many is head of U.S. advertising sales, which was recently vacated by Joanne Bradford.

But sources close to the situation said Yahoo execs are also offering Keane the option of choosing his job.

That’s because he has substantially more consumer Internet experience than most of Bartz’s recent hires, many of whom have worked in the enterprise arena.

Bradford left abruptly in March for Associated Content competitor Demand Media, leaving her key job open. Yahoo hired Spencer Stuart’s Jim Citrin to conduct a search.

Keane certainly fits the sales bill, from his years as head of sales strategy at Google (GOOG) and CMO of the interactive unit of CBS (CBS).

Keane would clearly be a pick with more of a strategy bent than others whom Yahoo is aiming at, who are more plain-vanilla online ad sales execs.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald