Yahoo faces fresh blow as it loses Europe head

Yahoo has been left without a head of corporate comms for Europe as the online giant faces an uncertain future.

The troubled internet company has lost its European corporate comms director David Sawday to a tech start-up, it emerged this week. Sawday left in January and has now joined AIM-listed tech firm Phorm as director of comms.

Yahoo declined to say whether Sawday will be directly replaced. The company has appointed an acting director of comms, Rose Davidson. Corporate PR head Alex Laity, who had previously reported to Sawday, is leading the search engine's in-house press office in the UK.

Yahoo faces mounting scrutiny after this week's rejection of Microsoft's £22.4bn takeover bid. While still one of the internet's best-known brands, the company has struggled against competition from Google. Its problems have been compounded by upheaval in its UK offices.

Sawday's departure follows the defection of three senior executives to rival Facebook late last year. Commercial director Blake Chandlee, head of agency strategy Stephen Haines and group head Jon Harvey all left Yahoo for Facebook.

Sawday joined Yahoo in 2005 from the Big Food Group. Phorm specialises in 'behavioural and contextual online advertising'.

Research firm comScore last week reported Yahoo accounted for 22.9 per cent of internet searches in the US in December, with market leader Google posting figures of 58 per cent. But Yahoo still boasts more unique visitors than Google, according to the market research outfit.

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