Verizon's Walden on the hot seat as the carrier looks to grow its digital media business


Verizon's pursuit of Yahoo has cast a spotlight on Marni Walden, Bloomberg reported this morning. The 49-year-old executive oversees product innovation and new businesses for the $231 billion company, and may eventually become Verizon's first female CEO, perhaps succeeding CEO Lowell McAdam someday.

Walden is tasked with leading Verizon's charge into digital media, an effort that includes the Go90 mobile video service and properties such as AOL. Verizon is also a leading candidate to acquire the online assets of Yahoo, which would greatly increase the carrier's online reach and grow its digital advertising business.

Unlike many Verizon executives, who "have largely been part of an Eastern boys club," Walden was raised in Wyoming and grew up on the family's cattle ranch. And she began her career selling handsets from a kiosk at a home-improvement store in Chico, California.

Verizon has long dabbled in mobile content, of course, but like other major U.S. wireless carriers it has failed to expand its core telecom offerings. It's far from clear that acquiring Yahoo's assets would be a wise move for the operator, but Walden may bring new perspectives and strategies to the company as it continues to try to tackle digital media. Article

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