Yahoo to expand Israel-based R&D centers under new local management

Yahoo is set to expand its Israel-based R&D centers under new management that will focus on growing its local sales operations, the company said Monday.

Yahoo operates R&D centers in Tel Aviv and Haifa with around 150 programmers, engineers and researchers working to develop the brand. The Tel Aviv site focuses on developments in advertising technologies, video technology and data products, while the Haifa team serves as a research center.

To drive the expansion, Yahoo appointed longtime employee Neetai Eshel as general manager of both centers. Eshel has worked at Yahoo for eight years and implemented a native advertising system for mobile and search engine marketing and advertising called Gemini (similar to Google Adwords) in 2013, the company said.

Gemini handles ads for Yahoo and AOL, both of which were owned by Verizon and renamed Verizon Media. US investment firm Apollo Global Management acquired Verizon Media in 2021 and renamed it Yahoo.

Gemini started as a grassroots initiative at the Tel Aviv R&D center and has become one of the company’s significant growth engines, Yahoo said.

Yahoo said it is now looking to expand its business relationships with Israeli advertisers.

The company is one of the oldest brands of the internet age, founded in 1995 as a web portal and site directory. Yahoo has grown through its search engine and email offerings and its partnerships with sports, finance, weather, travel and entertainment brands.

Over the years, Yahoo has purchased more than 100 companies, including a number of Israeli groups: ad tech company Dapper in 2010, video streaming platform RayV in 2014, and ad security startup ClarityRay also in 2014.

Yahoo also owns tech magazines TechCrunch and Engadget, two leading technology and gadget publications.

Once one of Silicon Valley’s most promising companies, Yahoo has had a checkered history marked by tumultuous times.

In the early 2010s, Yahoo suffered a massive security breach that compromised over a billion user accounts.

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