Airey joins as senior vice president for Yahoo’s EMEA regions from RTL where she was the president of its CLT unit. Her exit from the pan-European broadcaster was announced in April 2013, after almost five years.
In her new role, Airey will report Yahoo's chief operating officer, Henrique De Castro.
Yahoo has been trying to fill the role since Rich Riley left his position as vice president and managing director of EMEA in April 2012.
Airey replaces Christophe Parcot, the interim lead of EMEA, who will hand over his responsibilities on 1 November to focus on expanding Yahoo’s business in the region.
Airey said it was "great" to be joining Yahoo "at such an exciting point in time". She added: "To be part of the Yahoo renaissance was simply irresistible for me and I am very much looking forward to driving change, innovation and growth for the EMEA region."
Before her role as the president of CLT, Airey was the chief executive and chairman of Channel 5 where she oversaw all operations. Prior to this she worked as the managing director of global content at ITV, which she joined from Sky where she was the managing director of channels and services.
She has also held senior posts at Channel 4. Airey is also currently the chair of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, the vice president of the RTS, a member of the board of the British Library, the chair of the Grierson Trust and a non-executive director of Thomas Cook.
De Castro said: "Dawn is well known for her visionary thinking, operational discipline and leadership skills, and I can’t wait to work with her as we position Yahoo for growth throughout the EMEA region.
"I'd like to thank Christophe for his leadership of the past one and a half years. Together with Dawn's direction and energy, I'm confident that the future is bright for Yahoo in EMEA."