The social network will start UK commercial operations with a five-strong team and is aiming to employ more than 50 staff within a year. It is expected that Chandlee’s team will be bolstered by Stephen Haines, who last week followed Chandlee out of the Yahoo! door.
Haines joined Yahoo! in January 2004 as head of strategic sales and gained promotion to head agency sales and then head of agency strategy. His departure is a major blow for Yahoo! – following Chandlee’s departure, Haines was viewed by agencies as the leading figure on Yahoo!’s commercial side.
Group head Jon Harvey also left Yahoo! last week and both he and Haines are expected to hook up with Chandlee once they have served their respective notice periods.
Meanwhile, Miles Lewis, head of agency sales at Yahoo!, is set to leave the online giant for social music site Last.fm.
The four departures have left a hole in Yahoo!’s UK commercial team. A spokesman for Yahoo! said that it would not be rushed into replacing Chandlee, although a search is under way.
More details of Facebook’s advertising plans in the UK are set to be unveiled on Wednesday when Chandlee addresses the digital media industry at the IAB Engage Conference, when Facebook will unveil its ad platform for the UK.
A successful foray into the UK advertising space is key for the social network, as it looks to begin realising its $15bn valuation.
According to Microsoft commercial director Chris Ward, aQuantive, the $6bn ad technology firm recently bought by the software giant, will play a role in Facebook’s ad push.
Ward said: “AQuantive is in a great position to monetise not one or two third-party sites, but many of them.”
Microsoft’s UK team has not yet been fully briefed on the details of working with Facebook, but the deal is likely to include Windows Live Search, as well as banners.