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Disney communications chief to head global PR at Yahoo!

NEW YORK - Yahoo! has named former Disney executive Christine Castro as its head of global communications.

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She will take the role of senior vice-president and chief communications officer, with responsibility for leading Yahoo!'s worldwide communications. Her remit covers public relations, media relations, corporate, financial and employee communications, and crisis management. She reports to Terry Semel, Yahoo's chairman and CEO.

Prior to joining Yahoo!, Castro was vice-president of corporate communications at the Walt Disney Company, a position she held for a year after joining Disney in 1999.

Yahoo! has been going through a period of upheaval as executives who helped found the company or joined in its early days have been leaving en masse. In November, it named John Costello as chief global marketing officer, after Karen Edwards, one of Yahoo!'s first employees and creator of the "Do you Yahoo?" slogan, left to spend more time with her family.

The internet company is now in the hunt for non-advertising-based revenues, under Semel's direction. It currently generates almost 80% of its revenue from advertising sales.

Prior to Disney, Castro was director of corporate communications for SunAmerica, a Los Angeles-based financial services and investment company, which she joined in 1995.

She spent the early part of her career with Rockwell International as manager of employee communications. She also has worked as a reporter and editor, having received a degree in journalism from the University of Southern California.

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