Meet the Team: Navigating changes at Yahoo

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 8 April 2022

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Amid a technology sector under scrutiny and a pandemic throwing up disruptions, the Yahoo team has been growing its footprint and has its eye on further growth.

Led by Pual Sigaloff, the Australia and New Zealand team has 150 members in its offices across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Auckland. Following Sigaloff’s recent promotion to vice president, head of APAC, he brings the Taiwan, Singapore, India, Japan, and South East Asia offices under his leadership.

“Yahoo is all about our people,” Sigaloff says.

“They’re the lifeblood of our business. Over the past year we’ve really doubled down on investing in our team and it’s paid off. Despite the corona-coaster of the past two years, we’ve seen unprecedented growth - 55% year-on-year in 2021 alone.”

Sigaloff first joined the business in 2014, working then as commercial director when it was known as Yahoo7. Since then, the company has been through multiple iterations, most recently being sold to private equity firm Apollo Global Management last year.

Pual Sigaloff

Amid these changes, the team has been steadily growing its business. Sigaloff credits much of this growth to the digitisation across the media landscape.

“Clients have been really attracted to our simple omni-channel platform that enables them to easily turn campaigns on/off, measure impact across channels, target in a privacy-safe way and access inventory from connected TV, digital out-of-home, native, audio and more all in one place,” Sigaloff says.

“This remains a big focus for us this year.

“On the publishing side we’ve also seen growth across all our brands including Yahoo News, Yahoo Sport, Yahoo Lifestyle and Yahoo Finance. This is testament to Simon Wheeler’s great work and the outstanding capability of our content teams - we’ll be continuing to strengthen this in 2022.”

Wheeler, is one of the business’ recent promotions, taking on the senior director of content role for Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia early last year. The company also recently promoted Julia Edwards to sales director for NSW.
However, Sigaloff says he has been faced with challenges while growing the team.

“The biggest challenge has probably been the ‘growing pains’ as I like to call them,” he says.

“Our business has grown so quickly over the past few years that there’s been a few side effects we need to address: hiring new staff during an industry-wide talent shortage, operationalisation of new business, and maintaining our high standards of positive customer experience.”

Yahoo, which returned to its purple roots in a 2019 rebrand, offers client publishing and tech platforms. Its publishing brands include Yahoo, TechCrunch, Aol, and Engadget, alongside its business solutions including Yahoo Ad Tech, Yahoo Search, and Edgecast.

Looking into the future, Sigaloff says the business will focus on growing its consumer audiences, increasing revenue, and building partnerships.

Sigaloff adds there will be continual investment in the people, with a focus on social impact and engaging with employees in a “purposeful” way.


“We’re always focusing on our positive impact on the world, society and people,” he says.

“This is a personal passion of mine and for many within the business so we’re constantly seeking new ways to integrate social responsibility even further into each team’s DNA.”

One initiative has been its remote work policy, with staff free to use the office space as needed. The company also has introduced a ‘Work from Anywhere’ policy which allows employees to work abroad for up to 30 days a year.

“There’s the obvious benefits like flexibility, no commute, personal comfort and preferences, and more time to do the things you love (exercise, family time, sailing),” he says.

“But the more understated benefits I’ve noticed include higher productivity as people lead more balanced lives, plus a general shift towards greater empathy. We’ve gone through so much together and as a result it’s really changed the way we do business. We’re now human and helpful in every interaction.

To address the challenges with finding the right staff, Sigaloff says Yahoo has been investing in training programs.
“We’re doing our bit to resolve this through upskilling and education,” he says.

“Yahoo Academy, for example, is a free educational two-day workshop to support up-and-coming talent. Our online masterclasses within that are open to the entire industry and share soft skills to accelerate careers.

“Our Decoded series is another example, bringing together the best minds in the industry to discuss the hottest topics. Forget the sales pitch, this is all about broadening your knowledge and finding answers to the big problems.

“Beyond technical skills, we’re doing our bit to weave more purpose into everyone’s roles. All our employees are encouraged to volunteer and incorporate UnLtd and its charity partners into their day-to-day.”


With the right team set in place, Sigaloff will be “ruthlessly prioritising” its avenues for growth. He is also mindful of the challenges ahead for the broader industry, particularly changes around user privacy.

“Looking to 2022 and beyond, there are some headwinds facing the industry but as a cornerstone internet company, Yahoo is well placed to solve these,” he says.

“A key one will be data headwinds - browser changes impacting cookies, increased privacy regulation and legislation, consent and the flow on impact to targeting. Our identity solutions are tried and tested and already helping numerous advertisers.

“Another one is omnichannel - the digital ecosystem is growing. Traditionally, it was just display, video and native but as media becomes digitised this now includes connected TV, digital out-of-home, audio, etc. These changes can be frightening and complex, so through our adtech we help advertisers navigate this.

“And finally, measurement - quantifying and measuring impact can be a minefield but Yahoo’s platform makes it simple and available in real time.”



Simon Wheeler, senior director of content AUNZ and SEA
What does a typical day look like for you?
I don’t have a ‘typical’ day as such, but it will often start with a read of local and global headlines. With the increasing international scope of my role, I have calls with New York colleagues before checking in with my AU and SEA teams. In between, my day can range from content strategy meetings, new partnership updates, deep dives into our audience numbers and trends and then, my favourite, filling in reports.

What do you love most about your role?
I enjoy the multi-market nature of my job. I also enjoy the strategic nature of my role and the opportunity to step away and think about how we can grow that little bit more. We have some of the smartest digital content minds in the country and I enjoy working with them to identify opportunities, create and implement plans and (hopefully) see the numbers reflect we’re on the right track. This might be a particular content topic that’s resonating, the teams might be trying a new social or search tactic, or success on a platform like TikTok or YouTube.

Any key goals for 2022 at Yahoo?
I’ve tried to keep it simple for 2022. We’ll be focusing on attracting more users to our sites and encouraging those users to spend more time with us, more often. Again, keeping it simple, we’re doing this through quality content - stories and video - that we know our audience wants. We’re serving it to them where they already are, on the Yahoo network, but also on platforms like social, search and TikTok, for example.



John McNerney, director of platforms AUNZ
What’s an issue you’re focused on now?
What the removal of cookies and Identifier For Advertisers will mean for our industry. I spend a lot of my time educating partners and clients on how planning, forecasting, activation and measurement of their campaigns will soon change. Advanced TV is a big focus area within this context. Using linear Automatic Content Recognition data, we’re helping advertisers finally measure audience reach and frequency across offline and online TV consumption.

What does a typical day look like for you?
A run or ocean swim, a coffee and a skim of the global media and economy news before 8am US calls. After this it’s another coffee, a review of yesterday’s revenue, product releases and then meetings, meetings and more meetings. First with internal teams, then with partners and clients on strategy, planning and progress updates. My role is all about commercialising Yahoo’s demand and supply side platforms so keeping a finger on the pulse with industry regulation, policy, innovation and market dynamics is essential.

What do you love most about your role?
No day is ever the same. There’s always a new industry challenge or solution we’re working on to help our partners. Working at Yahoo - which prides itself on people-first culture and a ‘human and helpful’ ethos - makes the job meaningful no matter what the day throws up. Whether it’s rolling out new technological or creative innovations, partnering with clients to test industry-leading solutions or giving back to the community through our charity partners, I take pride in the fact my role provides positive value to our clients business and wider community.



Rachel Page, general manager sales AUNZ
What’s the biggest challenge in your role?
It’s definitely staying across everything. Our people, our clients, our products, the industry - they’re all constantly changing. There’s never a dull moment and I love the pace and the diversity of my role. But the biggest challenge is definitely juggling it all and making sure I don’t drop a ball. The struggle of constantly thinking about “what or who have I missed” is very real.

What’s your favourite part of your role?
Hands down it’s the people - there’s so much energy and talent. The pandemic blurred the line between professional and personal and I’ve really enjoyed dialling back to a more human and helpful approach. I love bringing people together to connect and collaborate and, of course, celebrate the wins.

How has Yahoo evolved since you first joined in 2017?
Where to start! So much has happened in that time -  a joint venture split and several name changes just to name a few big events. But we’ve kept all the best bits and never stopped evolving and critiquing our products and culture. Being inducted into the UnLtd Hall of Good and awarded MFA’s Media Partner of the Year really sums it all up. We’re in a great spot in terms of business growth, client and team sentiment and purpose. And we’ve certainly got no plans to stop this momentum.



Zoe Cocker, head of innovation and Yahoo Creative Studios AUNZ
How would you describe your role?
Non-stop! I lead a team that captures human attention in interesting ways using the latest tech. I work at the intersection between creativity and technology, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved digitally. What this looks like day-to-day: One day I might be working on an NFT project or strategising virtual worlds on game engines. On another it could be designing augmented reality campaigns or even creating Yahoo Finance Investor bootcamps.

What’s the biggest challenge in your role now?
A large part of my role is driving innovation for Yahoo and our clients. We’re in a really unique position as one of the internet’s founding figures. We have so much knowledge combined with a background in 5G technology (having previously been owned by Verizon). Add to this backing by Apollo to charge full speed ahead into the future of immersive technology, and it’s a bountiful opportunity we’re presented with. But this space changes daily. No one is 100% sure what the metaverse will look like. Staying relevant in a constantly evolving industry is an ongoing challenge but it’s a challenge I thrive on!

What attracted you to Yahoo?
Quite simply, great people. I started at Yahoo in the UK back in 2014. I was poached by a former boss who I had so much love and respect for. Initially, he was the number one reason. Then came the benefits of working for a global powerhouse as I now find myself living and working in Sydney. The country where I live may have changed, but I still find myself surrounded by incredible people who are smart, talented and most importantly, are changemakers. My world is constantly evolving and I rely on people around me to keep me honest, grounded and to inspire me.

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