As broken on PRWeek.com this Monday, the appointment sees the internet firm part ways with Bite Communications, Brands2Life and Cohn & Wolfe.
Yahoo! remains the world's most-visited website, according to Alexa.com. But it has been keen to streamline UK agency arrangements as pressure mounts from rivals such as the ever-expanding Google and Microsoft.
The appointment will see H&K handling UK corporate, trade and consumer across Yahoo!'s services and comes after a search that kicked off two months ago (PRWeek, 13 Jan).
Yahoo! will continue to use Slice PR for its music interests.
H&K reports to Yahoo! head of UK PR Angela Bloor, who is part of an in-house department overseen by Europe corporate comms director David Sawday. H&K will also work with Sawday on pan-European strategy.
Yahoo! has completely revamped its global comms in the past 12 months. Porter Novelli was enlisted last March to handle Yahoo!'s European corporate comms, global public affairs and ‘international communications' after a competitive pitch (PRWeek, 10 March 2006).
Yahoo! faces increasingly fierce sector competition and is said by some industry analysts to be unsure of its corporate positioning.
Last November, an email from Yahoo! SV-P Brad Garlinghouse was leaked to The Wall Street Journal in which he stated: ‘We lack a cohesive vision. We want to be everything - to everyone.'
The company is also yet to find a significant foothold in the social networking arena, and is rumoured to have seen a £550m bid for Facebook (number two in the sector behind MySpace) rejected last year.