Bradford Leaves Start-up and Joins Yahoo

Move Comes Only Six Months After Leaving Microsoft for Spot Runner

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Joanne Bradford is back at a portal.
Joanne Bradford
Joanne Bradford

After seven years at Microsoft, Ms. Bradford jumped ship to join start-up agency-services firm Spot Runner in March. Six months later, she has been lured by Yahoo to lead sales.

Sales and market development
As senior VP-U.S. revenue and market development, she will oversee sales and market development for advertisers, small business and Yahoo HotJobs, reporting to Hilary Schneider, exec VP-Yahoo U.S. Ms. Bradford replaces David Karnstedt, who has left to assume an entrepreneur-in-residence role at a Silicon Valley start-up.

In a statement, Yahoo President Sue Decker said, "Yahoo and Joanne have a shared mind-set about the strategic role that Yahoo and online marketing can play to both build leading brands and drive customer acquisition for the world's leading marketers."

Indeed, Ms. Bradford is just what the portal needs after months of uncertainty at Yahoo. The company has lost many executives over the past year and a half. Additionally, many questioned what types of advertisers Yahoo was focused on serving -- big brand advertisers with multibillion-dollar budgets or the smaller, self-service advertisers that had made Google rich -- following the departure of Wenda Harris Millard, who was known as a champion of the former, to head media at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she is now co-CEO.

Well connected
Ms. Bradford has all the connections at the major ad spenders and agencies and is also known as a person who can successfully build a team.

She had been Microsoft's corporate VP-global sales and marketing and chief media-revenue officer and a presence in the software company since 2001. An early leader of its strategy to be a bigger internet ad player, in 2006 she was given oversight of MSN's global network.

In the past year, Microsoft, too, has lost several longtime ad employees as it shifted its focus from the media business toward building out an ad platform, following its $6 billion acquisition of aQuantive last year. Incidentally, Microsoft has spent the better part of the year in a bid to take over Yahoo. (Ms. Bradford left Microsoft a month and a half after that bid was announced.)
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