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September 29, 2008 3:18 PM

MSN gets a new boss, same as the old boss

Posted by Brier Dudley

Microsoft today put a grizzled veteran of its Internet wars, Yusuf Mehdi, back at the helm of MSN and the consumer-facing portion of its search business.

Mehdi, a senior vice president, is now leading "audience marketing" for MSN and Microsoft's search business, which means "he’ll have responsibility for product management, marketing, partnerships and business development for search and MSN,'' spokesman Frank Shaw said.

From 2000 to 2005, Mehdi led the MSN engineering group, including, adCenter and MSN Search.

Lately he's been working on strategic partnerships, such as the acquisition of aQuantive and attempted Yahoo merger.

Medhi's one of the few locals in top positions at Microsoft. He's a Mercer Island native and has a master's degree from the University of Washington. He joined the company in 1992.

With details of the next version of Windows expected to surface at a conference next month, it makes sense to lighten the load carried by Bill Veghte, senior vice president of Windows and online services. Veghte had been leading Windows, Windows Live, search and MSN; now the latter two are moving to Mehdi.

Brian McAndrews continues to run the advertising side of the business, and Satya Nadella will continue leading the engineering of MSN, search and ad platforms.

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