Steele joins Skype’s senior management team as corporate vice president of marketing to oversee Skype’s global brand and marketing functions as well as local activity. She will report into Skype president Tony Bates.
Her last high profile role was at Yahoo!, where she served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for almost three years until December 2011. She was said to have been behind the brand’s high profile 2009 “It’s You” campaign.
She replaces Skype’s last chief marketing officer, Doug Bewsher, who left the company before the Microsoft acquisition closed last October. He left at the same time as seven other executives, fuelling speculation at the time that Skype was looking to eject its senior management before their share options grew in value as the $8.5bn (£5.4bn) Microsoft deal closed.
Tony Bates says: “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.”
Skype’s head of partner marketing Jodi Mau told Marketing Week earlier this year that the company is to leverage Microsoft’s marketing muscle to take on an entertainment positioning as it looks to communicate to consumers that it is more than just a free calls provider.