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Yahoo scores Microsoft ad executive Joanne Bradford

September 9, 2008 | 10:03 am

BradfordInvestors wanted action. So here's something to whet their appetite: Yahoo has replaced its top U.S. advertising sales executive with well-known former Microsoft executive Joanne Bradford.

Bradford comes to Yahoo via Los Angeles company Spot Runner, which she joined in May to run national ad sales. She will officially become senior vice president of U.S. revenue and market development, reporting to Hillary Schneider, executive vice president of Yahoo's U.S. operations.

"Joanne's deep understanding of the marketplace coupled with her proven ability to package and deliver results-driven solutions for the world's biggest brands will help Yahoo's customers connect with the audiences they most want to reach, not just on Yahoo, but across the Web," Schneider said in a statement.

For her part, Bradford seems to hold an unconventional view: "I am convinced that the very best days for this company are ahead," she said in the statement.

It's yet another shake-up in the Sunnyvale, Calif., hotbed of shake-ups. But Bradford is considered a good pick for Yahoo. She made her mark in senior positions at Microsoft, ultimately running MSN, and she is credited with making advertising an important part of Microsoft's future.

Bradford replaces Dave Karnstedt, who took over when Yahoo ad sales executive Wenda Millard left Yahoo to make a happier home at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Karnstedt, a seven-year Yahoo veteran, is joining venture capital firm Redpoint Ventures as an executive in residence. He resigned from the company earlier this summer but has worked closely with Schneider to help with the transition, according to a Yahoo statement.

The challenge facing Bradford cannot be overestimated. The economy is tanking. Yahoo's stock price is moribund, trading at its 52-week low. And now the Justice Department is taking a very hard look at the deal Yahoo struck to have Google run some of its search advertising alongside Yahoo results.

Late Monday night, Spot Runner said it had hired Jon Rosen, formerly head of sales for automotive ad network Autobytel, in a senior sales and business development role, and Elizabeth Carrasco, formerly of Authenticlick, as vice president of online engineering. Spot Runner, which helps advertisers make TV commercials and buy local airtime, recently said it was firing 50 and hiring 60 as part of a reorganization.

— Jessica Guynn

Photo: Joanne Bradford. Credit: Yahoo

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