Yahoo! chooses Airey to replace Riley as head of Europe operations
Airey chosen for ‘visionary thinking’
Rich Riley: appointed chief executive of music service Shazam earlier this year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
Dawn Airey, a former chairwoman and chief executive of commercial TV broadcaster Five, is to run Yahoo!’s operations in Europe, bringing to an end a long search for a new European head.
The web portal has been seeking a permanent replacement for Rich Riley as its senior vice-president of Europe, Middle East and Africa since he left following a group restructuring in April last year. Mr Riley was appointed chief executive of music service Shazam earlier this year.
Ms Airey is one of the UK’s most well-known TV executives, having also held roles at ITV and BSkyB and most recently as president of a division of RTL, the European broadcaster. Born in Lancashire in 1960, she started her career as a management trainee at Central Television in the Midlands in 1985 having studied geography at Cambridge university.
In her new role, Ms Airey will report to Henrique de Castro, Yahoo! chief operating officer. He said Yahoo! had chosen Ms Airey for her “visionary thinking, operational discipline and leadership skills”.
Ms Airey’s expertise in commercial television will also be valuable as Yahoo! looks to capitalise in strong growth in online video advertising – one of the fastest-growing areas of digital advertising – as global brands follow users from the TV to the internet.
“I can see why they’ve hired someone with experience in media and TV as they try to shift advertising budgets out of traditional media and into the internet,” said Ian Maude, an internet analyst at Enders Analysis.
– (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013)