SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Elisa Steele has officially joined Yahoo to lead its marketing efforts, a post that oversees the portal's brand, its worldwide marketing strategy and other functions.
Yahoo's new marketing chief reports to company CEO Carol Bartz, who has made it clear that she would shake things up at the online giant since taking the reins in January. Ms. Steele's hire was announced internally at the end of last month and she officially assumed her duty today.
Having gone the past year-and-a-half without a chief marketing officer, Yahoo said Ms. Steele's appointment is viewed as necessary to integrating the disparate marketing efforts across the company, whose assets include a portal, search engine, ad network, community sites such as Flickr and Del.icio.us and a suite of mobile tools.
Ms. Steele, 42, was a former marketing executive at data-management and storage company NetApp, where she was credited for repositioning the brand in the category, along with a major global re-launch. Her former stints have included management positions with AT&T and Sun Microsystems.
Bumps and controversy
Though the Yahoo brand remains one of the digital world's most recognized names, the company has been through its share of bumps and controversy in the last six months. Former chief Jerry Yang's bungling of Microsoft's overture was disastrous for the company's share price, and Yahoo's growth is also slowing, eroded by declining online ad rates, the softening display advertising business and Google's continued dominance in search advertising.
Yahoo's last chief marketing officer, Cammie Dunaway, left in October 2007 to join Nintendo, where she leads sales and marketing.