After leaving Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) in December, former marketing head Elisa Steele has joined Skype as its chief marketing officer. She will also assume the role of a corporate VP at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), reported Kara Swisher of AllThingsD.
Steele departed from Yahoo after an internal shakeup was first announced back in October that affected the marketing division. The marketing executive had joined the company two years before under former CEO Carol Bartz. Steele had been credited with making some great strides in the area but was viewed not so favorably for the less than successful “It’s You” ad campaign.
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Also in the fall, changes to marketing had included a move from Silicon Valley to the business units. Steele wrote in an internal memo at the time via the Wall Street Journal, “I believe we now need to bring marketing decisions, marketing talent and marketing budgets closer to the customer — and into the regions that depend on these critical plans. We need to further link our marketing strategies to revenue growth, sales objectives and overall accountability.”
She had also included in the memo the following language about her future, “My current role as CMO on CEO staff is unchanged. However, whatever I decide to do next for my career is my choice — and I’ll think about that on my own timeline.”
The news of Steele’s hiring by Skype came in a corporate press release on Tuesday. In her role, according to the release, Steele will quarterback Skype’s global brand, marketing functions and its local go-to-market activities. She will report to Skype’s President Tony Bates and will workout out of the corporate offices in Palo Alto.
Bates said of the news, “Skype is a global brand that has become part of the everyday lives of millions of people around the world. Skype has always had a maniacal focus on building the best products in the world and now we are adding a world-class marketing leader to guide our brand’s development and growth. Following a broad global search, we’re excited to add Elisa Steele to our leadership ranks, as she possesses both the passion and experience to promote, protect and grow the Skype brand.”
Steele also gushed about the new opportunity with, “I am very excited to join the team at Skype. Skype is known for innovation, excellent product experiences and a great brand. I am looking forward to working with the team and supporting the continued growth of the business globally.”
In addition to her role at Yahoo, Steele was senior vice president of corporate marketing at NetApp and oversaw Sun Microsystems’ global go-to-market initiatives, campaign execution, events, digital marketing, and installed-base marketing, according to the press release.