/// Exclusive: Yahoo Overhauls Marketing Unit — The Internal Memo

October 21, 2011  |  All Things Digital

Yahoo is drastically rejiggering its marketing division, according to an internal memo sent today to employees from its Chief Marketing Officer Elisa Steele , in a move that seems to leave her future role unclear. The changes, which appear to be at the behest of Steele, will shift the major maketing functions back to the regions of the Silicon Valley Internet company from its current global centralized one. “I believe we now need to bring marketing decisions, marketing talent and marketing budgets closer to the customer — and into the regions that depend on these critical plans,” she wrote. “We need to further link our marketing strategies to revenue growth, sales objectives and overall accountability.” Since Steele took over the marketing department at Yahoo several years ago, she has been moving those powers to a more centralized system. No longer. In the internal memo, which I obtained and is embedded below, Steele outlines the shift, which will remove a lot of that control of marketing from the HQ and out to its business units. Steele said in the email to the marketing team that she will remain at the company as CMO for now, although seems to indicate that she is also evaluating her future role. My current role as CMO on CEO staff is unchanged,” she wrote. “However, whatever I decide to do next for my career is my choice — and I’ll think about that on my own timeline.” Sounds like an eventual departure to me. Steele was brought to Yahoo over two years ago by now-fired CEO Carol Bartz — whom she has been very close to — and charged with turbocharging and reorganizing the division, which has never been strong. While Steele certainly did overhaul the marketing unit, some of her efforts, such as Yahoo’s pricey “It’s You” advertising campaign, have not worked out. And, largely due to the ongoing turmoil at the company, its brand has suffered. In any case, Steele obviously hopes on-the-ground control of marketing will help improve that. Here’s the memo: Team, It is critical for Yahoo! to grow faster and become more agile. We need to make decisions to accelerate the Regions’ growth plans around the world, and Marketing plays a crucial role in helping develop, support and execute these plans. We’ve built an integrated marketing machine that is an asset to help the company grow now and into the future. When we assembled a global and centralized organization in 2009, we took the opportunity to create best practices, establish consistency, deepen domain expertise, enhance functional capabilities and innovate for one of the biggest brands in the world. And, in the past 12 months, Global Marketing took home dozens of industry awards for marketing leadership in integrated consumer marketing, digital marketing and event marketing – including the acclaimed Cannes Lions, a Clio, a Webby and IAB Awards. Our Marketing achievements have been broad, deep and well recognized. Now that we have this strong capability, it is time to leverage it even further

Read the rest here:
Exclusive: Yahoo Overhauls Marketing Unit — The Internal Memo

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