The former Channel 5 executive, who famously agreed with an interviewer during her tenure as its CEO and chairman that the channel’s core strengths were “films, football and f*cking”, will be responsible for expanding Yahoo’s business in the region and driving its “renaissance”.
She replaces Christophe Parcot, who has served as Yahoo’s interim EMEA lead for the past 18 months. Airey will report into Yahoo chief operating officer Henrique de Castro.
De Castro says: “[Airey] is well known for her visionary thinking, operational discipline and leadership skills, and I can’t wait to work with her as we position Yahoo for growth throughout the EMEA region…together with Dawn’s direction and energy, I’m confident that the future is bright for Yahoo! in EMEA.”
Yahoo’s EMEA business reported a 23 per cent drop in revenue year on year to $97m (£62m) in the three months to 30 June.
UK brand tracking data shows the “buzz” around the Yahoo brand – a net balance of the positive and negative things people have heard or said about the brand – has dropped in the 12 months since new CEO Marissa Mayer came on board, although its impression, recommendation and quality scores have improved.
Airey has worked in the television industry for more than 30 years and most recently was president of CLT-UFA, a subsidiary of the RTL Group. Prior to joining Channel 5, she was managing director of global content at ITV.
She has also held senior roles at BSkyB and Channel 4 and currently serves as chairman of the National Youth Theatre.