Wanted: Yahoo on the Lookout for New Ross Levinsohn, Oops, Americas Head
New Yahoo COO Henrique De Castro has been racking up the frequent flyers miles trying to land someone who can take on a big chunk of his job, as SVP of Americas — in charge of sales, sales development, media, business development and strategy in the Silicon Valley Internet giant’s core market.
It’s a key placement for the company, whose advertising organization has undergone a drastic shift of late under De Castro and is in need of more direct leadership. In addition, Yahoo has recently overhauled its email and homepage offerings, key revenue drivers in the U.S., and needs a consistent face to marketers, some of whom have expressed confusion to me about the company’s strategic media plan going forward.
Yahoo can coast for a bit, given its stock has been rising on the actual performance of its stake in China’s Alibaba Group and the hoped-for turnaround by its CEO Marissa Mayer. She has been busy trying to overhaul a range of things at the company — from mobile to search to ad tech to, most famously recently, how and where its employees work. But it’s not clear as yet if these will provide a massive boost to its longtime difficulties with revenue growth and engagement declines.
Since U.S. ads keep the lights on for now, a top sales exec is crucial. The Americas job was most recently held by Ross Levinsohn, who lost his bid to be CEO to Mayer. And well-regarded ad head Michael Barrett left after De Castro arrived (let’s say bygones and leave it at that).
While De Castro has talked to a number of high-profile Internet execs, none have bitten as yet, for a search that is being conducted by Spencer Stuart.
As described in the memo I obtained, which you can read below in its entirety, the job will require some big shoes to fill. “S/he will be expected to be the ‘voice’ of the Americas region, serving as bridge between the region and the corporate teams,” according to the job description. “Additionally he/she will be a thought leader within the company and a well-respected industry leader as Yahoo!’s primary externally facing advertising and media executive.”
According to sources, there might also be other job movement among current top Yahoo execs, with Mayer eyeing some external replacements in media, social and communications products. She has already vamoosed some top execs, such as products chief Shashi Seth and others.
In any case, here is the job request, if you are interested: