Yahoo! To Recycle Unused Usernames
Beware: If you haven’t signed into your Yahoo! account in the past 12 months, Yahoo! is going to recycle your username.
The drastic change is set for 11:59 p.m. PT on July 14, 2013, and is a firm deadline for users to sign into the site or their Yahoo! mail. Those who fail to log in will lose their Yahoo! IDs and the usernames will be recycled, so others can try to claim them. How devastating for some users.
How many Yahoo! IDs are on the chopping block? Yahoo's senior director of Consumer Platforms, Dylan Casey failed to specify other than to say "a lot."
"You can imagine how many accounts are created every day, and some percentage of those just become dormant after awhile, and we're actually pretty excited about the names we're going to make available to people, " Casey explained.
While the new policy may be great for someone who's had to endure a ridiculously long e-mail address, it is raising valid privacy and security concerns because e-mail addresses are linked to log-ins and password recovery on other sites.
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Casey says Yahoo! is implementing a process to safeguard users' information and data that he described as "very, very foolproof." I am unconvinced and skeptical at best.
"We'll go through and do some cleanup work to ensure that data doesn't end up in the wrong place and unsubscribe that particular ID from any newsletters." He adds, "We're working with partners and peers in the space collaboratively on a program that will help them understand if an account has been recycled and potentially has a new owner. For example, if this is a user on Amazon who's trying to recover their password, we'll help them understand if the account has been recycled so the password information won't get sent to the new user of that account."
Yahoo's new (and quite ambitious) policy differs from Google, which does not recycle usernames for security reasons. Even when users delete their Gmail account, Google policy states: "You'll also be unable to reuse your Gmail username."
Yahoo! is encouraging people who want new usernames to put in their request as soon as it opens up the process. Yahoo! will inform people in August if they can claim the usernames they requested.
If you fail to log into your Yahoo! account at least once a year, your username could be recycled. You’ve been warned.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.