kevin gentzel
Kevin Gentzel in conversation with Ashley Swartz of Furious Minds. Screenshot

Yahoo has hired Kevin Gentzel, formerly the chief revenue officer of The Washington Post, to lead the company's ad sales.

Gentzel leaves WaPo after seeing it through its biggest year of digital ad revenue, during which he took the wrapping off the publication's native advertising products: Brand Connect and Brand Studio. He previously spent a year and change at News Distribution Network and had an extensive stretch at Forbes.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has prioritized native advertising among her efforts to grow revenue, and Gentzel will play a key role. He will report to Ned Brody, Yahoo's head of Americas.

Yahoo's ad revenue fell by 7 percent in Q2 this year versus last year, even though it sold 24 percent more ads. Activist investors at Starboard are pushing for a Yahoo-AOL merger, even as Yahoo's $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr has yet to increase revenues.

Gentzel is sure to be busy in his new role.