The CMO of Yahoo says her job is like “working for the world’s largest startup.”
By Betsy Mikel (Editor, Women 2.0)
The countdown to our fall How To Conference has begun! While we at Women 2.0 HQ are working hard to get everything in order so your conference experience is as amazing as ever, our speakers are hard at work preparing what they’ll share on stage to help you learn how to successfully live the entrepreneurial dream.
You’ll hear the stories and successes of high-impact speakers so you can apply their insights to your own entrepreneurial ventures. One speaker we’re especially excited to welcome to our stage is Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt. On Day 2 of How To, she’ll present our closing keynote: How to THRIVE in Entrepreneurialism and Life. Here’s a bit more about her background: Kathy Savitt is an entrepreneur at heart with a wealth of high-impact experience in media, marketing and customer-focused innovation. She’s helped build some of the world’s most recognizable brands — from leading Amazon’s strategic communications and pioneering explorations with digital content, to heading up global marketing, ecommerce and entertainment programs at American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
As CMO of Yahoo, she is responsible for leading global media, marketing and customer experience. She has been instrumental in defining Yahoo’s brand renaissance and architecting a powerful new content strategy for the company. No stranger to startups, Kathy first built and sold a successful PR and marketing agency, and in 2009 founded a startup called Lockerz, creating a disruptive model to connect advertisers with young people.
Just as she did with her startup and previously with other brands, she is focused on data-driven insights — mainly the specific behaviors and consumptive patterns of users — to revolutionize Yahoo’s media platform and content and create inspiring and entertaining daily habits.
Kathy believes in taking risks and thinking creatively – while always using the customer as your compass. According to Kathy, “At Yahoo, our users are at the center of everything we do – we are laser focused on making the world’s daily habits inspiring and entertaining.”
Here’s a sneak peek into Kathy’s day, inspirations and the tools she couldn’t like without. For more, catch her at our conference this fall!
Women 2.0: How do you typically spend the first hour of your day?
Kathy Savitt: Stretching my body and then my patience. :-) Pilates and email.
Women 2.0: Who was an early role model who inspired your career in tech?
Kathy Savitt: My father was my early role model – he was an advocate for focusing your career on the things for which you have the most intellectual curiosity and passion. For me, that’s been consumer innovations and technology.
Women 2.0: What do you love about your job?
Kathy Savitt: Working at Yahoo is like working at the world’s largest startup. I love working with such an incredibly smart and passionate team to build new things for users that may have seemed impossible in the past.
Women 2.0: What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?
Kathy Savitt: Sleep eight hours a night.
Women 2.0: What’s one thing that’s awesome about being a woman in tech?
Kathy Savitt: Encouraging and empowering more women to work in tech.
Women 2.0: What are a few apps or tools you couldn’t live without?
Kathy Savitt:Yahoo Screen, where I can watch a different Yahoo Live concert every night, Yahoo News Digest and Twitter.
Women 2.0: What did you learn from your greatest failure? (And if you’d like to share what it was, we’d love to hear it!)
Kathy Savitt: You have to always be sure you are hiring the right people for the job. You want to be sure they are passionate and committed to the company and that they took the job for the right reasons. Not for stock, not to be close to you or your board of directors, not even because it’s a “hot’ new startup. Having the right people on your team for the right reasons can truly be the difference between success and failure.
Catch Kathy’s keynote “How to THRIVE in Entrepreneurialism and Life” at our How To Conference in San Francisco on September 30 and October 1.
About the author: Betsy Mikel is the managing editor of Women 2.0 and runs the content consultancy Aveck. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and a lifelong obsession with French language and culture. When she's not biking all over every city she visits to find its best taqueria, you can find Betsy on Twitter at @betsym.