Millard can't escape MySpaceAugust 21, 2009: 3:52 PM ET
"You can run, but you can't hide."
- Media Link President Wenda Millard, calling this afternoon from the Gulf of Trieste on the Adriatic Sea, to share a few thoughts about her new gig revamping sales and marketing at MySpace.
While News Corp. (NWSA), MySpace's owner, and strategy firm Media Link, had been discussing some sort of partnership since the start of the year, Millard tells me that her new assignment came unexpectedly during her 10-day vacation. "We want to call you in right now," MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta told her when he reached her on her cell on Tuesday afternoon, as Millard was eating air-dried proscuitto and drinking local wine on an organic farm in Croatia.
Prompting the MySpace boss's urgent call to Millard--who was once Yahoo's (YHOO) ad chief and later co-CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO)--was the exit of MySpace sales and marketing boss Jeff Berman. Van Natta, a former Facebook COO who joined MySpace this past spring, is expected by his News Corp. bosses to do whatever it takes to improve the flagging social network's relationships with the ad community.
This new set-up with Media Link is unusual--a one-year deal that will have Millard staying at Media Link and working on Los Angeles-based MySpace from her own space in New York. (Media Link CEO Michael Kassan, who recruited Millard to Media Link in April, is based in LA.) Millard says she'll likely assemble a team of six Media Link execs to work on MySpace. On Monday, she'll hit the ground running, she says, but right now, one more stop on her trip—Venice.