Yahoo Appoints Lockerz CEO Kathy Savitt As New Marketing Chief

August 29, 2012 0

Sunnyvale, California — In a surprising move, Web pioneer Yahoo Inc., on Tuesday appointed Kathy Savitt, former founder and CEO of social commerce startup Lockerz Inc. and a former executive at American Eagle Outfitters Inc., is joining the ailing Internet company as chief marketing officer, responsible for all worldwide marketing and branding.

Marissa Mayer’s most high-profile hire since taking the helm as CEO at Yahoo last month continued with the appointment of Savitt, who founded the photo-sharing site in 2009, as its new chief marketing officer, replacing Mollie Spilman, who was named to the position only three months ago.

Mayer — Yahoo’s fifth CEO in three years — is struggling to re-establish itself is employing new people and seeking fresh ways to revitalize growth as rivals Facebook Inc. and Google gain ground with Internet users and advertisers. The company has posted three straight years of revenue declines amid turnover in the executive ranks.

“We are very excited to welcome Kathy to Yahoo,” Mayer said in the statement. “Her extensive experience in building and refining well-loved consumer brands like Amazon, American Eagle Outfitters and Lockerz will be incredibly valuable asset as we define Yahoo’s future.”

Kathy Savitt, Yahoo’s new chief marketing officer. (Credit: Kathy Savitt)

Savitt will assume command from Sept. 14 and will report directly to Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer, who arrived in July from Google Inc. In a message on Twitter, Mayer said she was “so excited to have landed Kathy Savitt as our new CMO at Yahoo!.”

According to her remarkable credentials, Savitt most recently served as the CEO of Lockerz, a photo-sharing site catering to 45 million unique visitors. Before founding Lockerz in 2009, Savitt served as the CMO for American Eagle Outfitters and VP of strategic communications, content, and initiatives at Amazon.com Inc., Yahoo said in a statement yesterday.

However, after she starts at Yahoo, Savitt will become chairman of Lockerz’s board, and Chief Operating Officer Mark Stabingas will become CEO, the Seattle-based startup said in an e-mailed statement. The company’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Liberty Media Corp.

As a matter of fact, most of Mayer’s high-profile appointments have been hunted down from her former employer: former Google product marketing manager Andrew Schulte was engaged earlier this month to be her new chief of staff, while Anne Espiritu, who ran consumer technology PR for Google, was brought in to handle corporate communications.

Yahoo said recently that Mayer, who took charge in July, is keenly assessing the company’s business strategy, which could lead it to change its plans to return to shareholders after tax cash proceeds from a deal with Alibaba Group. The announcement prompted speculation that Yahoo may keep the money to use it for acquisitions and product development.

Nevertheless, Mayer’s executive search is not yet complete, though; she is also reportedly hunting for a chief operating officer to free her up to handle product decisions.