Technology: Yahoo enlists boss of EMEA-wide comms

Internet giant Yahoo has drafted in a new comms leader in Europe, extending the role to cover the Middle East and Africa.

Ben Starkie joins the company as it seeks to better define itself in comparison with bitter rivals Google and Microsoft. Starkie was previously head of EMEA comms at tech giant Logitech. He had been at the firm for the past six years.

He succeeds Angela Watts, who departed Yahoo just two months after being promoted to head of European comms in order to become the first head of marketing and comms at online music service Spotify.

Starkie will remain based in Switzerland, at Yahoo's European HQ in the city of Rolle. 'The company vision is clear: to be the centre of people's online lives,' Starkie told PRWeek. 'We in communications have a large role to play there.'

Barely a week into the job, Starkie faced his first major task overseeing Yahoo global CEO Carol Bartz's visit to Europe.

Bartz, who took over the company in 2009 after it fought off a bid from Microsoft, has spent the past year touting a new mission statement for Yahoo: 'To combine your world and the rest of the world on the internet.'

With this in mind, the company has been focusing on personalising content and is rumoured to be in talks to acquire location-based social network FourSquare.

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