Yell to be renamed hibu

Yell has announced it is to rename as “hibu” and at the same time has confirmed it has lost its chief marketing officer Jenny Ashmore just seven months after she was appointed to the role.

Yell

The company is rebranding following its decision to shift to becoming a digital led business and its amibition to derive 75% of all revenue from digital sources by 2014. The brand name is said to stand for “people who make communities thrive”.

All of its consumer and corporate facing digital products and services will now fall under the “hibu” banner, whilst its print products – which include its UK directory books – will remain under the Yell name.

Yell Group will be renamed hibu Plc, subject to shareholder approval, on 26 July.

The new brand has been in development for five months by brand consultants Landor Associates and under the leadership of outgoing CMO Jenny Ashmore.

Ashmore joined Yell from Mars in October to become its first global group chief marketing officer and help steer the company’s transformational shift to becoming a digital led business in the wake of declining print revenues.

She oversaw marketing across Yell’s operations in the UK, US, Spain and Latin America and was responsible for overseeing its switch to becoming an e-marketplace portal for SMEs and consumers.

The group formed a global alliance with Microsoft to broaden its digital offering in July last year. The partnership means Yell can sell Microsoft’s range of cloud computing tools and it also means the directory’s search results will move up the rankings on Bing.

It is understood Ashmore does not have another job to go to but has left to “pursue other interests”.

Her day to day responsibilities will be handled by her management team, which includes David Parslow, group head of brand development. In the interim, Mike Pocock, group chief executive officer, will retain overall strategic leadership of the marketing team.

Prior to her role as global marketing capability officer at Mars, Ashmore also held several marketing roles at Procter & Gamble and Shell.

Yell reported a 14% revenue drop to £1.61bn in the year to 31 March. It attributed the steep loss declines in its directories divisions, both print and digital, although its digital services revenues actually grew 112% to £134m in the period. Print still accounts for the majority of its revenues.

Profit after tax decreased by £1.24bn to a loss of £1.19bn.

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