Is it any wonder why Yahoo's image is so unpolished? The ranks of top PR people available to buff it have been rapidly shrinking. And with CEO Jerry Yang all but hiding in a cave, there's been little for the survivors to do. The latest departure: Joanna Stevens, to parts unknown. That Stevens, an eight-year Yahoo veteran, would leave on such short notice, without another job lined up, is telling. It means, in short, that this ultimate Yahoo loyalist has finally tired of the company's mismanagement. Before new PR chief Jill Nash came on board, Stevens briefly ran the department, and she was close to former CEO Terry Semel (shown here with Stevens and Tom Cruise). When even the company's designated cheerleaders are turning in their pom-poms, you know the team is losing. (Photo by Joanna Stevens)
From: Jill Nash Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 11:53 AM To: [REDACTED]@yahoo-inc.com; [REDACTED]@yahoo-inc.com; [REDACTED]@yahoo-inc.com; Marta Nichols; Samuel J Wolff; Matt Rhodes; Cathy La Rocca; Allen Olivo; Peter Daboll; Nick Chavez Subject: Team update
After eight years on the Corporate Communications team, Joanna Stevens has decided to open the next chapter of her life. Her last day on the team will be October 30th.
Her contributions to Yahoo! have been immeasurable - from spearheading major announcements to managing countless crises to helping to grow our team. She's worked closely with three generations of Yahoo! executive teams, providing valuable guidance on corporate communications strategies, messaging, and positioning. She's helped the company navigate through crises that ranged from unprecedented lawsuits to adult content to market rumors. Jo has also driven financial communications, played a major role in countless earnings announcements, stockholder meetings, annual reports, and Analyst Days. Jo also led the team through pivotal announcements and acquisitions, overseeing the communications strategy and execution for major finanical transactions, including Overture, Flickr, RightMedia, and Alibaba to name just a few.
Jo also helped reinforce the Yahoo! brand externally and internally in her work. She conceived of the Yahoo! Yodel Challenge, leading the tour across the country and turning Wiley Gustafson, our litigious yodeler, into an enthusiastic emcee. She also led the cross-functional team that engineered a memorable 10th Anniversary for Yahoos and users around the world. And, of course, Jo is to be thanked for the countless stories that you've never read about Yahoo!.
May Petry, who is also VP of PR for Connected Life, will step in as interim leader until Jo's replacement is found. I'd like to thank Jo for nearly eight years of dedication to Yahoo!. Please join me in wishing her all the best.