SUNNY VALE, California: Yahoo continues to feel the aftershocks of last week's departure of ceo Terry Semel [WARC News: 19-June-07]. The struggling online search giant has now announced a major shift in its advertising sales strategy and the immediate loss of Wenda Millard, its chief US sales executive.

The company says it will merge its display and search advertising sales teams in order to better serve its ad partners.

Avers Yahoo vp of global sales, Gregory Coleman: "When combined, the two organizations will deliver profoundly better results than when delivered separately."

The overhaul will see more emphasis on multi-platform selling, encompassing video as well as traditional banner and web search ads.

The new function will be led by David Karnstedt, currently svp of the search advertising sales business.

Millard, who was hired by Semel in 2001, is joining New York-based Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as president of media.

She says her decision to quit Yahoo came from her desire for a new challenge and was "not a comment" on the company’s struggles.

  • Meantime, the company has announced the estimated $100 million (£50.1m; €74.5m) purchase of online sports service, which chiefly focuses on college and high school sports.

    As well as allowing Yahoo to further compete with ESPN and Foxsports, the move is also seen as an attempt to boost its appeal with a younger audience.

    Spokesman Scott Moore said: "This deal will help us connect with the college and high school sports fan."

    Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff