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Who Is Marni Walden, And Why Should Verizon Investors Care?

Who Is Marni Walden, And Why Should Verizon Investors Care?

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO)'s long drawn out process of selling its internet assets is being closely watched by Marni Walden.

Walden is the head of product innovation and new businesses for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) — the company widely considered to be a front-runner to acquire Yahoo's assets. She also happens to be the boss of AOL's CEO Tim Armstrong and also oversees Verizon's ambitions in connected cars.

If Verizon ends up winning the bidding process and buys Yahoo's Internet assets, Walden will play a vital role in transforming the company in a new digital age.

Related Link: Verizon Set To Announce Bigger Data Plan With Bigger Price Tag To Match

Walden is also on a short list of candidates to replace Verizon's 62-year-old CEO Lowell McAdam. Her story is also a noble and exemplary one as her first job out of college was selling briefcase phones inside a home-improvement store in 1991.

"My charter is to go stand up several businesses," Walden told Bloomberg in an interview. "Tim [Armstrong] runs one of those businesses and he is pretty independent. I let Tim run his business. He's very public. He has to be."

Verizon is hoping that an acquisition of Yahoo and its millions of users, online properties and ad technology could help boost its online business which also contains go90, a YouTube-like collection of brief videos that are supported by ad revenue.

Go90 hasn't attracted a massive following while at the same time some experts are still confused over Yahoo's asset sales and questioning the logic behind a deal.

Nevertheless, Verizon appears to be in good hands if Walden is involved in the deal.

"It's a high-risk, high-reward assignment," Bloomberg quoted Rosabeth Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School who has studied Verizon's management for 10 years, as saying. "Marni brings a whole new skill and capability."


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