Vodafone freezes pay, lays off mobile ads chief

Busy times at Vodafone as the company announced it had frozen the pay of its 10,000 UK staff and scrapped all bonuses in another attempt to rein in costs - and this after cutting 500 jobs less than a month ago.

Also of note was the company's decision to make its head of mobile advertising, Shan Henderson, redundant. According to insiders, Vodafone wanted to tap into the growing number of global ad campaigns, as well as remaining as "lean as possible."

The role will now transfer over to Erik de Kroon, head of marketing for internet discovery, who has a wider global remit and reports to internet services director, Pieter Knook. This move is being read as an about-turn by Vodafone from its in-house strategy towards one that will see the company select a partner to manage its mobile advertising service.

Rumors also circulating point towards Vodafone dropping Yahoo as its exclusive mobile ad sales channel - one of Henderson's roles was to manage the company's advertising relationship with Yahoo.

The original ad sales deal between the two companies was struck in November 2006, with the first advertising debuting in June 2007. An end to the partnership would be significant blow to Yahoo's ambitions, which has been pushing aggressively into mobile in both ad sales and search default deals as its online business struggles.

To confuse the situation, a widely-circulated report Vodafone also says may be dumping Google in favor of Yahoo as its Europe-wide default search partner.

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