THE NET EFFECT: Diary - Just make sure you don't forget the King

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

the "privilege".

"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

Irishwoman anyway.


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