Bradford Exits Yahoo for Demand

Joanne Bradford, Yahoo’s top sales executive, is leaving the company to join Demand Media, a company which produces low-cost, search-friendly content on thousands of topics.

At Demand, Bradford will become the four-year-old company’s chief revenue officer. She’ll likely be tasked with selling the company’s growing roster of below-the-radar brands to traditional advertisers. “This is a tremendous opportunity to reshape how online marketing works at scale,” said Bradford of her new role.

Demand employs thousands of freelancers to produce articles and videos on all sorts of general interest content that is commonly searched upon. Often derisively referred to as a “content farm,” the company maintains the instructional site eHow.com, which features
articles ranging from “How To Reinvent Yourself” to “How To Homeschool Your Child”; as well as Lance Armstrong-supported Livestrong.com. The company also boasts of a massive presence on YouTube.

Bradford is a digital advertising veteran. Prior to joining Yahoo in late 2008, she held a managerial role at Spotrunner for several months. Before that, Bradford was the face of Microsoft’s MSN portal, running everything from sales to content.

Her departure can be considered a blow to Yahoo, which has been refocusing on its core media businesses under CEO Carol Bartz. Yahoo is consistently one of the top, if not the biggest display ad sales companies in the industry, though it has struggled to approach the ad sales growth of a few years ago.

Officials at Yahoo have yet to name a replacement for Bradford. “Joanne will be working with the team over the coming weeks to enable a smooth transition,” said  a spokesperson.