Kara Swisher

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[UPDATE: Confirmed] Exclusive: Yahoo to Name Time Inc. Top Exec Powers as Head of U.S. Sales

Yahoo, in a quick move after the recent hiring of U.S. head Ross Levinsohn, will bring in Wayne Powers, who is currently president of Time Inc.’s Media Group, as head of North American advertising sales, according to sources.

[UPDATE: BoomTown has confirmed the appointment by nabbing the Yahoo press release below.]

It’s a big plus for CEO Carol Bartz, who had a very big hole in the middle of the key moneymaking organization at the Internet giant.

Double plus: As a longtime exec at the magazine unit of Time Warner, he is a known quantity in the sector (and, best of all, not from Bartz’s favored enterprise business!).

Way to scramble the jets, Carol!

Essentially, Powers replaces Joanne Bradford, who left in March for Demand Media.

Under a lot of pressure to name a sales leader, who will presumably report to Levinsohn, Yahoo had approached many top execs in the industry.

Levinsohn, by the way, starts Monday and could use the help!

That’s because a long stretch followed the high-profile Bradford’s departure, during which the job was split up among several of Yahoo’s top ad execs.

I have a call into Yahoo for comment, but it looks like a done deal.

(By the way, nice to meet you, Wayne! Please send me all internal memos asap–it’s how it is done at Yahoo. Go, Buckeyes!)

Here is the Yahoo press release on Powers’s hiring:

Yahoo! Appoints Wayne Powers to Head North American Advertising Sales

SUNNYVALE, Calif., November 9, 2010–Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) announced today that the company has appointed Wayne Powers as Senior Vice President, Advertising Sales for North America. Powers, who previously served as President of the Time Inc. Media Group, will report directly to incoming Executive Vice President of the Americas, Ross Levinsohn. Powers will be based in Yahoo!’s New York office.

“Wayne is a proven leader and innovator who will bring a wealth of operating expertise and advertiser relationships to Yahoo!,” said Levinsohn. “His record of brand building with advertisers and his focus on driving revenue through creative executions will serve both Yahoo! and Madison Avenue well.”

“Yahoo! is an innovative technology company operating the largest digital media, content and communications business in the world,” said Powers. “This is an irresistible opportunity to expand Yahoo’s industry leading position and drive revenue growth by leveraging its unique combination of science, art and scale.”

Since 2006, Powers has led Time, Inc.’s relationships with Fortune 500 advertisers, created and launched the Time Inc. Digital Network, and driven integrated sales across all Time, Inc. properties.

Previously, he served as President of Media Networks Inc. and Targeted Media at Time Inc., generating record growth at both companies through innovative advertising strategies, including the integration of new product launches across print, internet and mobile. Media Networks was one of the first integrated sales teams within Time Inc. and Powers led the successful launch of Time Inc.’s digital business.

Before joining Time Inc., Powers held several senior level sales executive positions in the consumer packaged goods industry with Nestle and Dole Packaged Foods. He is a graduate of Ohio State University with a BS in marketing.

And here’s his bio from Time’s Web site:

Wayne Powers

President, Time Inc. Media Group

Wayne Powers, who was named President of the Time Inc. Media Group in March, 2007, currently oversees all automotive, financial services, consumer electronics and technology clients for Time Inc.’s Corporate sales and Marketing. Powers and his team bring clients unrivaled marketing solutions that span print, digital, mobile, and events, all in the context of Time Inc.’s trusted brands, including Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, In Style, People, Real Simple, and Essence, among others.

Powers also oversees additional businesses for the company: Time Inc. Content Solutions, the company’s custom publishing arm; while Media Networks Inc.(MNI), and Targeted Media Inc. both specialize in targeted advertising and custom marketing solutions.

In 2007, Powers created the Time Inc. Digital Network, harnessing the collective power of the Time Inc. digital brands–for the first time, offering advertisers an opportunity to reach Time Inc.’s aggregated online audience that now tops 26 million unique users.

Previously, Powers served as President of Time Inc.’s MNI and Targeted Media. He joined Time Inc. in 1998 as Vice President of Sales at MNI, and led the sales staff to record-level success. After being named President of MNI in 2001, Powers was responsible for growing the company’s business across new media platforms and building its reputation as an innovative advertising solutions provider. In April 2006, he gained the additional responsibility of President of Targeted Media, Inc.

A graduate of Ohio State University, Powers began his career in the consumer packaged goods industry where he held key senior sales, trade marketing, and executive sales management positions.


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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google