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Pinterest's Bradford Departs as Kendall Takes Over Media and Sales

Bradford will remain an adviser to the company after turning down a smaller operational role.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Joanne Bradford*, the long-time media exec who Pinterest brought in to oversee advertising and media partnerships in 2013, is departing the company in a management shuffle after turning down a smaller role at the company, according to sources.

The move comes as Tim Kendall, the company’s head of monetization and Bradford’s boss, decided to take on some of Bradford’s responsibilities. Bradford declined an offer to stay at the company as a head of direct sales, which would have seen her run a team of salespeople working directly with big marketers to advertise on Pinterest, sources say.

When Bradford was hired two years ago, the company said she would be “focused on both commercial and content partnerships globally.”

Bradford declined to comment. A Pinterest rep said, “We would like to thank Joanne for all she has done to build our first monetization program and partner team. We look forward to working with her as an adviser to the company.”

This is the second major executive departure for Pinterest in recent months under co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann. Don Faul, the company’s head of operations, left in February, saying it was a “personal decision.”

The former Marine came to Pinterest from big jobs at both Google and Facebook, making him a big hire for the San Francisco-based Pinterest when he arrived in 2012. Such shifts are common in fast-growing startups, which often see a lot of turnover in executive ranks as they rejigger the organization.

The news comes as Pinterest is ramping up its money-making efforts with the launch of advertising products in the last year and the announcement last week that it would be adding “Buy” buttons to the site, too.

Here’s the note Bradford sent out to her staff:

Hi team,

As many of you know, Tim and I have been working with my leadership team to make sure our Partnership org structure stays updated with our evolving product and customer needs. We both want this organization to be as nimble and lean as possible and we agree that we need to make some structural changes to optimize for speed and growth.

With the recent exciting updates to our offerings for partners, it’s become clear that our sales, product, partner marketing and product marketing teams need to be as closely aligned as possible. We considered a number of org structures and agreed that the best structure for our organization puts all of these functions together under Tim.

Tim asked me to continue to manage the direct sales team. While sales has always been part of my passion and I’m very proud of the team we’ve built, I’ve decided to step aside from day-to-day operations and move to become a strategic advisor to the company. In that role, I’ll continue to advise Pinterest on building its overall business and help transition key relationships to Tim.

It has been such a privilege to be a part of Pinterest’s first monetization efforts, and I look forward to continuing to support this work in my capacity as an Advisor going forward. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions in the meantime.

Additional reporting by Kara Swisher.

* Full disclosure: Pinterest executive Joanne Bradford has been an independent board member of Re/code parent company Revere Digital, which was recently acquired by Vox Media, but has had no involvement in our editorial process.

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