Yahoo Appoints CRO, Strengthens Mobile Search, 'Key To Yahoo's Future'

Yahoo announced Thursday the appointment of Lisa Utzschneider to chief revenue officer, leading the company's global sales organization. About half the company's business comes from search advertising.

Utzschneider joined Yahoo as senior vice president of sales for the Americas last year, successfully integrating sales across Yahoo, BrightRoll, Flurry and Tumblr to help bring new opportunities to advertisers.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, in a prepared statement, said "her deep knowledge of digital advertising and ability to maximize value for advertisers make Lisa the right leader for our sales efforts as we work to scale our business globally."

Mayer hopes that business will include search engine marketing. During the second-quarter earnings call, Mayer called search "a core part of Yahoo." Clicks from paid-search advertising rose 13% and the price per click rose 4%. Search grew by 22% on a GAAP revenue basis and, while revenue ex-TAC dipped by 3%, it would have been flat year-over-year on a currency neutral basis.

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"With more action-oriented search results rather than endless blue links, we believe we can deliver a better more intuitive experience," Mayer said.

With nearly every product summary during the earnings call, including the native ad platform Gemini, Mayer underscored to investors the importance of search. "Gift search and Tumblr TV made gifts more immersive and shareable," she said.

Search in apps has become another focus for Yahoo as it attempt to build its mobile developers' network.

Aside from rewriting the Microsoft search deal, Yahoo took on other search partners such as Mozilla and Oracle, which Mayer cites as "marketing vehicles" for higher margin business.

Utzschneider -- who brings more than 15 years experience in leading sales -- originally came to Yahoo from Amazon, where she led the company's display advertising business. She also spent 10 years at Microsoft where she led advertising initiatives in product development, sales, and other online services.

But Utzschneider will have her hands full as she steps in to help take Yahoo deeper into mobile services. During the Q2 2015 earnings call, Mayer, an engineer at heart, called mobile search the "key to Yahoo's future," noting that search is half of Yahoo's business. 

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