I note with interest that former Idearc Superpages head Pat Marshall is taking on the Chief New Media Officer role at arch-rival YellowBook. Marshall, who has been serving on the boards of Agendize and WebVisible, will be reporting to CEO Joe Walsh, and apparently working alongside CMO Gordon Henry.
Until recently, YellowBook’s website has not really been a priority at the company. It has been one area in which Idearc has had a strong lead. In fact, Superpages’ relative strength has made it easier for Idearc to roll out independent books outside of the traditional Verizon footprint, even when it hasn’t had sales forces fully in place.
But Marshall inherits a situation in which YellowBook’s website and penetration rate among advertisers is vastly improved. About 45 percent of its print advertisers now buy into the IYP (although many aren’t aware that they have done so since it’s at the bottom of the contract – a common occurrence among IYP advertisers). YellowBook’s Internet reach program has also been getting more emphasis, although it was slow getting out the door.
Marshall isn’t the first Superpages exec to cross over to YellowBook. But he’s certainly the highest level one. YellowBook Internet Senior Manager Alfred Chow made the switch a couple of years ago. At Superpages, Chow had been group manager, electronic frontiers.