Media Lifeline: Yahoo! sales

The many comings and goings have left the website's sales division in a state of permanent flux.

October 2005: Yahoo!'s early sales presence had been established in the UK by Martina King (the managing director from 1999) and her protege, Fru Hazlitt, who succeeded her in 2003. But it develops what it regards as the dream team when Hazlitt's successor, Jon Gisby, is joined by Blake Chandlee, who transfers from the US as his sales director.

November 2007: Yahoo!'s UK operation goes into meltdown. Weeks after both Gisby and Chandlee resign - the first to join Channel 4, the latter to Facebook - Stephen Haines, the head of agency strategy, and Miles Lewis, the head of agency sales, announce they're leaving.

June 2008: The company makes a number of interim appointments to paper over the cracks - but it takes until June the next year for it to propose a more considered solution. It decides to parachute in Mark Rabe, its vice-president of global sales, to the position of vice-president and managing director of Yahoo! UK Sales.

August 2009: But there's another shambles in the making when Rabe poaches Matt James, OMD International's managing director, as the new UK sales director. Days before he is due to start (and having already left OMD), James decides to pursue other opportunities. Rabe now vows to begin a new search for a sales director.

September 2010: But Rabe announces in February that he is returning to Yahoo! in the US. James Wildman, the boss of the soon-to-be defunct TV sales house ids and a former GMTV sales executive, will succeed Rabe as the managing director and vice-president of sales.

Fast forward - May 2011: But Wildman barely has time to get his feet under his new desk when Yahoo! springs the latest in a long line of bombshells - the appointment of the former ITV commercial director Rupert Howell as EMEA commercial director. When Wildman resigns, there are rumours that Howell has made an attempt to poach Hazlitt, his successor at ITV but now rumoured to have itchy feet, as Wildman's replacement.