CEO Carol Bartz Fired By Yahoo!; Microsoft Ramps Display As VivaKi Urges MSFT On

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Yahoo! Removes Bartz

Carol Bartz is out. All Things D’s Kara Swisher was the first to break the news late yesterday as Chairman of the Board Roy Bostock and Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang apparently brought down the hammer on the Yahoo! CEO. Shortly after receiving the news, Swisher says that Bartz sent a company-wide email as follows: “I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s Chairman of the Board. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward.” End of an era – especially if you ask former Yahoo! Brad Garlinghouse (see his “reaction” tweet). And, read more from All Things D. So, who’s next? Well, Time Morse will be the interim CEO. Read the Yahoo! press release. Beyond that, Akamai President and Yahoo! board member David Kenny is likely in the CEO mix. His Digitas background would be welcomed with open arms by agency buyers who want closer ties with and better service from Yahoo!. (See Yahoo! VP Seth Dallaire’s Q&A from last week on Yahoo!’s renewed focus on the agency.) In a note to investors, Citi analyst Mark Mahaney states, “We have high regard for Tim Morse as CFO, but the next CEO and the existing management team & Board have their work cut out for themselves in turning the company around.” Pictela exec Matt Straz says on his personal blog, “While Bartz’s pugnacious style and Valley background did her no favors in the relationship-driven media business, Yahoo’s board certainly deserves some of the blame. Hiring a CEO to focus primarily on operations is a sure way to kill a digital media company.” Read more.

Microsoft Ramping Display

Bloomberg reports that “Microsoft is unveiling tools and partnerships with AppNexus Inc. and MediaMath this month designed to help customers more effectively tailor ads and measure their impact.” So, dynamic creative optimization tools and analytics (maybe attribution) tools appear to be in the works for display mavens. Read more. Pubicis’ VivaKi Nerve Center CEO Curt Hecht adds his thoughts in the article saying Microsoft needs to get behind its display initiatives in a bigger way as MSFT’s Atlas ad serve comes under the microscope. The irony here is that VivaKi has made a huge commitment with Microsoft competitor Google and its Invite Media DSP which will eventually lead to the integration of DoubleClick For Advertisers ad server and Invite features. Hecht likely sees the need for competition to continue to drive innovation – let alone leverage for the agency. The Atlas blog provides more details of what it calls the “Atlas Technology Partner Alliance (ATPA) Demand Side Platform (DSP) channel.” Read it.

Socializing The DSP

DataXu CEO Mike Baker delivers the DSP Kool-Aid as he reviews social advertising on ClickZ. He ruminates that digerati need to think more broadly then just “social” as he writes, “It’s not about channels anymore; it’s about using the data to seamlessly engage with consumers across connected experiences.” Read more.

More Retargeting

Struq CEO Sam Barnett partakes in a Q&A on eConsultancy as he takes up the issue of retargeting and privacy concerns. Barnett sees a middle ground(s) in his company’s data as he says, “We have found that 53% of online users admit they would perceive an advertiser more favourably if the ad were tailored to their interests and 75% cite ‘more control’ as one of the key desires they have of online advertising.” Read it.

The Relationship Cookie

On the PointRoll blog, J. Blake Martin coins a new buzzphrase: “It’s time we start thinking about relationship cookies. Every time we slap an online cookie with an impression, there’s an immeasurable (or at least expensive to measure!) impact on the overall relationship, or the ‘relationship cookie.'” Read more.

Engagement For CPG

OgilvyOne’s Gretchen Scheiman says on MediaPost that CPG companies often can’t participate in the eCommerce channel as channel conflicts could scare off partners. In spite of gobs of data, she explores how CPG companies best leverage data in the email channel without threatening the foundation of their businesses and writes, “If we cannot obtain the data necessary to measure sales, we need to choose another goal that is nearly as important yet which we can measure. For most CPG brands, this goal becomes engagement.” Read more.

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