Facebook snags Yahoo sales exec

Bambi Francisco Roizen · April 15, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/804

While hundreds of Yahooligans are expected to lose their jobs

 Amid more layoffs at Yahoo, a top revenue-focused executive has found a new home at Facebook. Dan Foehner, a top Yahoo sales executive is starting a new job at Facebook on Monday, VatorNews has confirmed.

He will work in the direct sales organization under Mike Murphy, who heads up that division. 

The departure from Yahoo comes as troubled search engine is set to announce its third round of layoffs in just over a year. Yahoo let go 1,000 workers in early last year and 1,400 in the fourth quarter.

"The layoffs could affect several hundred employees and may be announced as early as Tuesday when Yahoo reports first-quarter financial results, said these people, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity because the plan is confidential," according to the New York Times.

Foehner heads over to Facebook at a time the startup may need to focus more on driving up advertising revenue, at the least to cover its significant overhead as it supports a membership base of now 200 million.

While Facebook has many different monetization opportunities - like potentially charging app developers a fee for making a boatload of money off its users - or virtual goods, advertising is still a key focus. 

In an interview with Business Week, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said it pretty clearly, "There is a lot of like, “What is the business? What is your business model?” And it’s a really simple answer, which is that our business is advertising. We’re not waiting to find our business, but we found it and it’s actually working very well."

While Sandberg may be focused on advertising (hence the hiring of a new sales exec Foehner), there's skepticism about the reliance on advertising. There are many other social networking sites, with far fewer members, making up to $30 in annual revenue per user, vs. an estimated $2.50 in revenue-per-user on Facebook. 

With 200 million members, that's about $500 million in annual revenue per year. But it could be a lot more.

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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