Television exec Dawn Airey gets Yahoo! Europe job

Television exec Dawn Airey gets Yahoo! Europe job

The internet search company was once the darling of the technology industry, famously turning down a $ 50bn buyout offer from Microsoft because it was too low. However, its value subsequently slumped to less than half that figure following a number of disastrous deals and the emergence of rivals such as Google.

Ms Mayer, who joined Yahoo! from Google just over a year ago, is attempting to reverse the decline.

She paid $ 1.1bn for blogging network Tumblr in order to expand its appeal to brands, and has instigated a cultural shift by banning staff from working at home.

According to eMarketer, Yahoo!’s share of the US display advertising market slipped 9.2pc this year, but Wall Street has backed Ms Mayer’s strategy. The share price has almost doubled in a year, and yesterday was up 0.26 to $ 27.17 in afternoon trading, giving the company a market capitalisation of $ 27.7bn.

Yahoo! has also spent the past decade rocked by management changes. When Ms Mayer joined the firm she was its fifth chief executive in four years. One of her predecessors, Scott Thompson, left after his CV was found to contain inaccurate information. Another, Carol Bartz, emailed staff after she was fired by the chairman to tell them she had been “f—–” by the board.

Although Ms Airey shares Ms Bartz’ love of blue language, she is usually the one to do the walking first. In 2007, she quit her job as chief executive of a fledgling media group called Iostar after just eight days. She allegedly found that the company’s funding arrangements were not as robust as she had believed. Iostar subsequently collapsed.

Ms Airey later joined ITV, running its global production studios under chief executive Michael Grade. However, she left after a year to rejoin Five, the broadcaster she effectively started. Her most recent role was at RTL, running international development.

Some analysts have interpreted Ms Airey’s move to Yahoo! as a vote of confidence in the company’s return to health.

No doubt her pay package will also have a lot to do with it. Yahoo! did not disclose Ms Airey’s pay but the company pays considerable rewards to its top executives if they deliver the returns.

Ms Mayer, 38, is the highest paid female executive in America with a pay package of $ 59m.

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