March 14, 2001 5:10 AM PST

Yahoo's top ad exec to bid adieu

Just a week after its chief executive bade farewell, Yahoo on Wednesday said that Anil Singh, who led the Net giant's advertising and marketing efforts, is leaving the company.

About three months ago, Yahoo had indicated that Singh would step down from his day-to-day sales and marketing role, but would remain as a strategist. Now, as declining advertising revenue has sent the company's stock spiraling lower and CEO Tim Koogle packing, Singh plans to leave the company altogether.

Singh, well known for creating Yahoo's advertising might, intends to retire in May. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said he plans to spend more time with his family and pursue personal interests. Yahoo has not yet named a replacement.

Singh's departure comes at a crucial time for Yahoo, which last week warned of a first-quarter revenue shortfall, as the slowing market for online advertising has most Internet companies struggling to bolster ad revenue.

Yahoo blamed the shortfall on the weakening economy and cutbacks in marketing spending among its customers. In addition, the company said that the transition of its ad revenue base--from a reliance on pure Internet companies to a stream that includes more traditional businesses--was not as quick as it had hoped.

The news at the time sent Yahoo shares skidding 16 percent. The shares, which have fallen nearly 50 percent for the year, have set a 52-week low of $15.62, a far cry from the company's 52-week high of $206.62.

Singh, Yahoo's 21st employee, joined the company five years ago as its first sales executive. He was quickly promoted to senior vice president of sales and later became chief sales and marketing officer in charge of worldwide ad sales and programs, corporate marketing, promotions, direct marketing and distribution.

News.com's Jim Hu contributed to this report

 

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