(Reuters) – Yahoo Inc has hired former Google director and media veteran Michael Barrett to help lead its efforts to reemerge as an entertainment and information destination that wins advertising revenue.
Barrett, who will take the title of Chief Revenue Officer, is one of new interim CEO Ross Levinsohn’s first key appointments, underscoring signs that Yahoo — a company that has suffered from strategy flip-flops under successive CEOs — is now thinking of itself as more of a media company than a technology company.
Those close to Levinsohn have said he is committed to building out Yahoo’s own video programming and striking more syndication deals in pursuit of ads that command a higher price.
This will be the second time that Barrett and Levinsohn have worked together. Both were once at Fox Interactive Media where Barrett also held the title of Chief Revenue Officer and oversaw worldwide revenue for properties including MySpace and FoxSports.com.
Barrett was most recently at Google where he led integration efforts following the acquisition of digital advertising platform Admeld Inc where he served as CEO.
He will assume his new position in July and be responsible for Yahoo’s ad revenue and operations globally.
Generic display advertising has lost favor to search-based ads and other more interactive formats but still generated $12.4 billion in U.S. industry revenue last year and should produce $15.4 billion in 2012, according to eMarketer analyst David Hallerman.
Yahoo’s share of that has been slipping, however, as advertisers turn to Google, Facebook and others. Video ads, while still a small part of the market at around 6 percent, are more promising, growing more than 50 percent yearly.