As predicted by Kara Swisher in AllThingsDigital this morning, yt’s just been announced that Microsoft has replaced Kevin Johnson with Qi Lu and that Brian McAndrews is leaving. It’s also been announced there is shuffling underneath, which on the surface the most interesting looks to be the Global Advertising Sales and Services organization moving into a more centralised position.
On initial thoughts, AdViking thinks that in choosing Dr. Qi Lu, Steve Ballmer has made an inspired choice. I mean, the general chatter was about a business/market guy was going to get the job and then they appoint a well regarded Search-technologist (20 patents, etc.). So in terms of Microsoft culture, this guy is going to walk in and the Office and Windows teams are going to be giving him props.
Now if you mash that up against the FAST and Powerset acquisitions, the European Search Center, etc. it’s great to see the effort that is being made to try and take the game to Google.
Generally response looks to be positive but Henry Blodget at Silicon Alley Insider provides a good outline on the width of the group that Qi Lu is inheriting and therefore highlights some of the issues.
Here’s the full Press Release:
Microsoft Appoints Dr. Qi Lu to Run Online Services Group
Yahoo! veteran to oversee Internet offerings for consumers, advertisers and publishers.
REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 4, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Dr. Qi Lu will join the company as president of the Online Services Group. Dr. Lu will lead Microsoft’s efforts in search and online advertising and all the company’s online information and communications services. Dr. Lu will report to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.
Lu most recently served as executive vice president of Engineering for the Search and Advertising Technology Group at Yahoo!, where he was responsible for development efforts around Yahoo!’s Web search and monetization platforms. Dr. Lu left Yahoo! in August 2008 after 10 years of service.
Dr. Qi Lu will join Microsoft as president of the Online Services Group effective Jan. 5, 2009.
“I am tremendously excited to welcome Qi to Microsoft,” Ballmer said. “Dr. Lu’s deep technical expertise, leadership capabilities and hard-working mentality are well-known in the technology industry, and Microsoft will benefit from his addition to our executive management team.”
“I am genuinely excited about the opportunities ahead for Microsoft to make an enormous impact on the online industry,” Dr. Lu said. “Microsoft has built a great foundation for its search and advertising technologies and put an amazing team of researchers and engineers in place to drive the next wave of innovation in online services. I’m looking forward to working with them to help transform the way people and businesses use the Internet to find and share information.”
Before his most recent role at Yahoo!, Lu was vice president of engineering responsible for the technology development of Yahoo!’s Search and Marketplace business unit, which includes the company’s search, e-commerce, and local listings of businesses and products.
Before joining Yahoo! in 1998, Dr. Lu was a Research Staff Member at IBM Almaden Research Center. Before IBM, Dr. Lu worked at Carnegie Mellon University as a Research Associate, and at Fudan University in China as a faculty member. Dr. Lu holds 20 U.S. patents, and received his bachelor of science and master of science in computer science from Fudan University and his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.
Lu’s first day at Microsoft will be Jan. 5, 2009. In his role running the Online Services Group, he will oversee several groups including the Advertiser & Publisher Solutions business, managed by Scott Howe who was promoted to corporate vice president; the Online Audience business, managed by Senior Vice President Yusuf Mehdi; OSG Research & Development, managed by Senior Vice President Satya Nadella; and OSG Finance, managed by Rik van der Kooi who was promoted to corporate vice president.
With the successful integration of aQuantive now complete, Brian McAndrews, former CEO of aQuantive and senior vice president of Microsoft’s Advertiser & Publisher Solutions Group, has decided to transition out of Microsoft, and will do so over the next several months, serving in a consultative capacity to Steve Ballmer and Qi Lu during that time.
“Brian McAndrews built a world-class business for advertisers and publishers and led the successful integration of aQuantive into Microsoft, setting the foundation for our next phase of growth,” Ballmer said. “While I am sorry to see Brian leave the company, I respect and understand his decision and wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
“I also want to congratulate Scott and Rik on their well-deserved promotions and look forward to their leadership in the Online Services Group alongside Qi, Yusuf and Satya,” Ballmer said.
As part of today’s announcement, several teams will move to further align resources. The field sales organizations in the Online Services Group will move to Microsoft’s centralized Sales, Marketing and Services Group led by chief operating officer Kevin Turner. This group, called Consumer & Online, will be led by Corporate Vice President Darren Huston and will include the Global Advertising Sales and Services organization, led by vice president Bill Shaughnessy.
Also, though it doesn’t say much more than the PR you can read the Steve Ballmer internal announcement that was leaked on TechCrunch.
Disclosure: Some of AdViking is employed by FAST and Microsoft. More details on About.