Thursday Signal: From Google to Yahoo, Again

Henrique De Castro now in at Yahoo.

In today’s Signal: Mixing it up at Yahoo — Marissa Mayer makes her first big hire and CRO Michael Barrett is walking; the rules of engagement have changed in the brand game; Paul Berry, social ‘rebel’; Google’s unified privacy policy is under investigation overseas; rise and shine, it’s the ‘dawn of the imagesphere’; how publishers are jumping mobile hurdles; and more.

To the links …

The $56 Million Man: Yahoo Confirms Hiring of Google’s De Castro as COO (ATD) Henrique De Castro, who has most recently been Google’s president of partners business solutions, is a big, expensive ‘get’ for Yahoo. He’ll receive a $600,000 yearly base salary, an annual bonus that could double that figure, and $36 million in stock grants, including a one-time retention equity award of $18 million and $18 million in the form of performance-based stock options.

And on the heels of that announcement …

Yahoo Chief Revenue Officer Michael Barrett to Exit (AdAge) Michael Barrett had publicly said he would stay on with Yahoo under CEO Marissa Mayer, but that was before Henrique De Castro’s hiring.

The Rules of Engagement (Think With Google) In this article from Google’s Think Quarterly: Insights and Outlooks on the Digital Future, Allison Mooney investigates how the rules of the brand game have changed. Smart brands are now embracing digital to create their most responsive, innovative and efficient campaigns ever, building direct and meaningful relationships with their customers. Her piece begins with insights from our own John Battelle, who reminds readers that “brands are what people say about you when you’re not in the room, and the room has gotten extremely big.”

What Publishing In the Social Age Looks Like (Digiday) Former HuffPost CTO Paul Berry, who developed the company’s highly effective SEO and social network tools, wants to mimic that magic with RebelMouse, a new type of social aggregator that lets users add social media content, edit headlines and position stories wherever they want on their websites.

Europeans To Ask Google To Change Unified Privacy Policy, Gain User Consent For Data Collection (MarketingLand) Google is confident its unified privacy policy doesn’t violate European regulations, but apparently the French data protection agency CNIL doesn’t agree. France and other European countries will reportedly ask Google to roll back its privacy policy changes to their previously fragmented state. According to The Guardian, “[The CNIL] have determined that Google’s changes breached EU law because they did not give users any chance to opt out of the changes.” Assuming The Guardian’s report is accurate, there are global implications here.

And while we’re on the subject of Google …

Google Throws Open Doors to Its Top-Secret Data Center (Wired) Wired’s Steven Levy got a guided tour of Google’s Data Center — or as he calls it, “the beating heart of the digital age” — in Lenoir, North Carolina. Currently, the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure allows the company to index 20 billion web pages a day, to handle more than 3 billion daily search queries, to conduct millions of ad auctions in real time, to offer free email storage to 425 million Gmail users, to zip millions of YouTube videos to users every day, and to deliver search results before the user has finished typing the query. In the near future, when Google releases the wearable computing platform called Glass, this infrastructure will also power its visual search results.

The Future, As Imagined By Google (NYTBits) On Monday, at Google’s Zeitgeist sales conference in Paradise Valley, Arizona, executive chairman Eric E. Schmidt spoke about what we can all look forward to from the company in the future. Internet-connected eyeglass frames and driverless cars are just the beginning.

Why Visual Storytelling Is the Future of Digital (iMediaConnection) Twenty years ago, one photograph could anchor a $15-million national ad campaign across many magazines for months. To engage with consumers today, online brands need to compete with publishers and social media sites that refresh their “bins of eye candy” every few minutes. Bob Lisbonne, CEO of Luminate and former SVP for Netscape’s browser group, calls this new phase in which visual communication is supplanting the written word “the dawn of the ‘imagesphere.’”

Publishers Confront Mobile Mess (Digiday) Michael Bayle, SVP and General Manager of ESPN Mobile; Julie Hansen, President and COO, Business Insider; Federated Media’s own Walter Knapp, EVP of Platform Revenue and Operations; and others discuss their biggest challenges when it comes to mobile.

Larry Page Speaks (Yes, He Speaks!) on Regulation and Other Topics (Video) (ATD) Google’s Larry Page, who is still recovering from a vocal cord issue, had plenty to say in Arizona on Tuesday at the company’s Zeitgeist Americas partner and customer conference. He answered questions about regulation, mission-driven businesses, payments, education, social search and lots of other things, and was more candid than usual.

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