It's not everyone who would introduce themselves to their new boss
by dressing up in spandex clothes and a blonde wig while belting out the
classic I Will Survive at Club Med.
But then Martina King, the managing director of Yahoo! UK & Ireland, is
not what you'd call a shrinking violet. And at a conference for Yahoo!
employees across Europe, it seems the bonding took place in rather less
conventional territory than normal.
Having been taught the moves by a Club Med worker, King and co. got on
stage and strutted their stuff in front of a doubtless somewhat bemused
Terry Semel, their new chief executive who had just flown in from the
US. Far from being remotely embarrassed, King announces proudly: "We got
a standing ovation."
Such is the way of King. "One of the reasons she's so well-known is not
just because of her experience, but also because of her character -
she's so well-liked," Karen Harding, her assistant, says.
"She'll dress up at the drop of a hat," Harding adds - not that anyone
in Ibiza spotting that gregarious woman in spangly clothes needed
convincing of that.
King's popularity among the staff is borne out of her wish to treat
everyone on the same level. "It's an open door policy here - but I don't
even have a door," says King, who's not interested in surrounding
herself with flash cars. "I don't need executive trappings," she
And juggling all those business meetings with a passion for watersports
and cooking means that times can get hectic. But King has got her
priorities right: "Her biggest hobby is her family," Harding says,
referring to King's husband Simon, "The Ipswich Fan", and two young
daughters, Tara and Nancy.
"I absolutely adore them," King agrees . "It's a totally and utterly
remarkable thing to be a parent." Aah.
And after years at her last job at Capital Radio, King has witnessed
Chris Tarrant's infamous party trick - which involves turning people
upside down - on countless occasions. However, as yet, she has not had
"I'm not an easy person to pick up," she says, laughing uproariously, at
the thought. And you'd be a fool to even consider messing with a feisty