Yell ramps up digital repositioning strategy

Yell has appointed its first ever chief strategy and business development officer and drafted in Barclays’ former CMO to help lead its transformation from being a directories service to an “eMarketplace”.


As chief strategy and business development officer, Matt Anderson will be responsible for building global partnerships and developing new products as Yell paves the way for its digital expansion.

He joins from global management and strategy consulting firm Booz & Company, where, as partner, he was responsible for helping companies adopt digital technologies and platforms. Anderson was senior adviser on the team that developed Yell’s new business strategy last summer.

Yell is looking to generate 75% of its revenue from digital sources in the next three years.

The phone book publisher will focus on providing more digital services for small to medium-sized businesses and become a local “eMarketplace” to rival the likes of Gumtree as it looks to alleviate its £2.6bn net debt burden.

Separately, Yell has appointed former Barclays chief marketing officer Libby Chambers to its board as an independent non-executive director and member of the company’s remuneration committee.

Chambers, currently chief marketing and business development officer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, will lend her marketing experience and knowledge of payments and credit card businesses to aid with the development Yell’s e-commerce repositioning.

In October Yell appointed former Mars marketing chief Jenny Ashmore as its first ever group CMO to help steer the company’s shift to becoming a digitally-led business as its print revenues decline.

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