Joanne Bradford joins Pinterest as Head of Partnerships

President of The San Francisco Chronicle also held executive positions at Microsoft and Yahoo

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 6, 2013
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Pinterest has already made it clear that is ready for next step in its evolution: the part where it makes money. Last month the company began rolling out its first ads, called Promoted Pins, and now it has made a strategic hire to get more brands and businesses on board.

Pinterest has hired Joanne Bradford, the President of The San Francisco Chronicle, as its new Head of Partnerships, it has been confirmed to VatorNews. 

In her new role, which will begin in December, Bradford "will be focused on both commercial and content partnerships globally," Pinterest said.

Bradford has extensive background working with major brands. In addition to her role at the Chronicle, Bradford has also held executive leadership positions at major companies, including Microsoft, where she was Chief Revenue Officer; Yahoo, where she served as Senior Vice President; Demand Media, where she was Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer; and BusinessWeek.

Bradford also serves on the board of CARE, which provides aid to the poor around the world.  She is an Advisor to Greycroft Partners and a founding advisor to

Given her experience building relationships with some of the world's biggest brands, including American Express, L'Oreal, and Unilever, the company is obviously counting on Bradford to bring in the big guns for its advertising campaign, which is in its early stages right now.

Pinterest's business relations

The company announced in September that it would begin showing ads in certain pins, before beginning to roll them out in October.

Promoted Pins work the same as any other type of pin, except they have a label at the bottom that denoted that they are "promoted." It also contains a link to learn more about what that means.

That followed other moves made by Pinterest to appeal to businesses.

The company started with the creation of business accounts in November of last year.

Pinterest also introduced new tools for them to use on those accounts. including a verification badge, which is meant to people identify high-quality sources of content and more easily find the business they want in search results, and new buttons and widgets, such as the Pin It buttonFollow button, and Profile widget, which are meant to increase engagement from pinners and traffic back the business website.

In March, Pinterest launched an analytics tool to help businesses see how much traffic Pinterest has referred to their websites.

The tool provides information to business clients regarding activity on their Pinterest accounts, including how frequently users are clicking on their photos.

If Pinterest can successfully pull off advertising, and show that it can be a real moneymaker, it may be able to follow LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as the next social network to go public.

The company has certainly attracted the attention of VCs. 

San Francisco-based Pinterest was launched in March 2010. The company has raised a total of $565 million since then.

In February, Pinterest raised $200 million in a round of funding that was led by Valiant Capital Management, with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital. 

Pinterest then closed a $225 million round of funding, led by Fidelity Investments last month. Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Valiant Capital Management also participated.

The new round valued the company at $3.8 billion.

This news was first reported by AllThingsD on Wednesday. 

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