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Under Growth Pressure, Yahoo's Mayer Searches for Revenue Chief

They could use someone who can really sell the new Yahoo

According to sources close to the situation, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is in the later stages of hiring a chief revenue officer, in an effort aimed at boosting sales at the Silicon Valley Internet giant.

It’s a good idea since the company — despite a run-up in its stock due to a 24 percent stake in China’s Alibaba — has seen its core business continue to decline under Mayer’s leadership over the last two years.

Sources said Yahoo has made an offer to a well-known advertising exec, but that that deal was not consummated as yet.

It had better be soon — Yahoo’s upcoming quarter, said sources inside the company, is as lackluster as the last. This despite Mayer’s many attempts to upgrade its offerings via a feverish series of acquisitions and product upgrades. She has also been trying to revive its once-lucrative search business and is even contemplating creating a video competitor to Google’s YouTube, as I have previously reported.

(And there’s more, too, that Mayer has been trying, which I will outline in the days ahead.)

So far, though, these efforts have not been reflected on the revenue line or with increased excitement from marketers. Instead, Yahoo has seen its growth decline, even as the industry has boomed and rivals have increased their mobile and other revenue.

Not Yahoo, at least not yet.

Initially, Mayer had hoped her hiring of COO Henrique De Castro from Google would help, but she fired him earlier this year after what she considered poor performance (and after a very large severance payout). Mayer said at the time that she would shepherd all sales efforts, which makes her plate very heavy with direct reports.

Under the current plan, the new hire would report directly to Mayer and lead a sales org that includes ad leader Ned Brody. It’s not clear if Brody is in the running for the larger job, although sources said Yahoo is looking outside the company for the CRO.

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