Pinterest Taps Weather Channel's Eric Hadley to Oversee Agency Relations

Former Microsoft, Yahoo Marketer to Be Social Network's Head of Partner Marketing

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Eric Hadley
Eric Hadley

As Pinterest prepares to ramp up its advertising business, the social network has hired a top marketer to tighten its ties with brands and agencies.

Pinterest has tapped Weather Channel Senior VP-Sales Strategy and Marketing Eric Hadley as the social network's head of partner marketing.

Among other responsibilities, Mr. Hadley will lead Pinterest's agency outreach organization that works with creative shops and media agencies to develop content and media-buying strategies for their clients.

"Agencies are one of our most important communities because they build great pins and do the best creative. So he'll focus on really helping them be successful on Pinterest. If agencies are successful on Pinterest, that will also mean Eric is successful," said Pinterest's head of partnerships and Mr. Hadley's new boss Joanne Bradford in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

But success also means making inroads with agencies' clients as Pinterest opens up to more advertisers following the six-month test it launched in May. To that end, Mr. Hadley will oversee strategy and messaging for small-, medium- and large-sized brands, including retailers and e-commerce companies.

"We're everything from awareness to intent-to-buy, and I do not think that most marketers understand the power of pinning and Pinterest. And Eric's job will be to help tell that story," said Ms. Bradford, who previously worked with Mr. Hadley at Microsoft and Yahoo.

Pinterest's partnerships organization is the group responsible for getting brands, publishers, retailers and agencies comfortable using Pinterest and buying ads on Pinterest. The division has grown from four employees when Ms. Bradford joined the company last December to more than 60 people.

As the former marketing boss for Microsoft's Bing search engine and MSN content portal, Mr. Hadley joined the company in 2009 to launch Microsoft's Google rival, and Ms. Bradford cited his "strong background in creativity, measurement and online media." Prior to Microsoft he ran partner and sales marketing at Yahoo, a similar position to the one he'll now hold at Pinterest.

But it may be his experience at The Weather Channel that will be best put to use at Pinterest, which is similarly heavy on data and mobile. "At Weather, he specifically focused on the use of data, programmatic and mobile, which is one of their great strengths," she said.

Mr. Hadley will also work in coordination with Rob McDonald who manages Pinterest's work with publishers. Mr. McDonald will manage those individual relationships while Mr. Hadley will handle industry-level strategy and messaging tools, Ms. Bradford said.

Mr. Hadley replaces Steve Patrizi, who left Pinterest in June to run market development at photo-sharing service Imgur. Mr. Hadley starts with the company next week and will be based in New York where he'll work alongside Lisa Manowitz, a former Twitter sales exec who runs Pinterest's New York office as head of East Coast partnerships.

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