Vodafone: Freezes pay, mobile ads chief laid off, and Yahoo deal in question

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.

Rumours 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 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, the ad sales deal is separate from the widely circulated report Vodafone may be dumping Google in favour of Yahoo as its Europe-wide default search partner.

For more on this story:
Mobile Today, MocoNews1 and MocoNews2

Related stories:
Mixed results for Vodafone/Visa mobile advertising trials
Vodafone UK cuts 500 jobs, more likely in Europe
Vodafone expected to cut costs by over 1bn euros next year
Microsoft's Knook to head Vodafone web unit

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