Kara Swisher

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It’s Official: Michael Barrett Named to New Job as Yahoo Ad Czar

Yahoo has confirmed that it hired Google ad exec Michael Barrett as its new chief of revenue.

As I reported earlier, Barrett will be in charge of advertising revenue and operations worldwide at the Silicon Valley Internet giant, including units in the U.S., Europe and Asia reporting in to him. Barrett will report directly to interim CEO Ross Levinsohn.

The move to hire the high-profile exec — who has been working at Google since it bought an ad tech company he ran a year ago — gives Yahoo a boost in its most critical area of business.

The search giant acquired supply-side advertising technology start-up AdMeld for $400 million a year ago. Before that, Barrett had previously worked at a range of digital and traditional media companies.

His hiring is also a clear signal that Yahoo is about to make major changes to its ad business going forward. According to numerous sources, Yahoo is again mulling a plan to abandon or sell large parts of its ad tech business and rely on third-party vendors, including Google.

Sources said Barrett was interested in the big opportunity Yahoo possessed and felt the ad market was still interested in helping it maintain its online ad business.

Here’s the official Yahoo press release on the Barrett appointment:

Yahoo! Appoints Michael Barrett as Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 18, 2012 – Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) announced today that it has appointed Michael Barrett as Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. Barrett will be responsible for Yahoo’s advertising revenue and operations globally for the company, with Americas, EMEA and APAC regional leads reporting to him.

“Michael Barrett is regarded as one of the most successful and influential executives in media and technology, and I am thrilled to have him join Yahoo! in this critical role,” said Ross Levinsohn, Interim Chief Executive Officer. “I am confident that his deep industry experience and relationships will help us drive our strategic vision, taking Yahoo!’s industry-leading position to the next level.”

Barrett joins Yahoo! from Google where he led the integration efforts following Google’s acquisition of Admeld, Inc. in December 2011. Barrett joined Admeld as CEO in 2008, and under his leadership the company became the leading global supply side platform solution for premium publishers. Prior to Admeld, Barrett worked at Fox Interactive Media as Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, where he oversaw worldwide revenue for all properties including MySpace and FoxSports.com and worked closely with Levinsohn. Before that, Barrett served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Partnerships at AOL Media Networks and held senior sales positions at interactive leaders Yahoo!, GeoCities and Disney Online.

“Yahoo! is one of the largest and most iconic Internet companies in the world,” said Barrett. “I am grateful for this opportunity to work with Ross and a group of immensely talented and energized people, all focused on driving Yahoo’s leadership and strategic position on a global basis. I am looking forward to contributing everything I can to that effort.”

In his new role at Yahoo!, which he will assume in early July, Barrett will be part of the senior executive team, reporting directly to Levinsohn.


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