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November 16, 2006

MSFT ad exec moves to MSN; Ballmer on leaks to WSJ

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 12:08 PM

Joanne Bradford, Microsoft's corporate vice president of global sales and marketing and chief media revenue officer, is taking on a new role at the company's MSN unit, according to reports in Advertising Age and The Wall Street Journal.

Bradford will head MSN, according to the Advertising Age story. It quoted her saying no one person was responsible for thinking about the MSN portal, with the exception of Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of the company's online services group.

Microsoft said Bradford's is a new position and offered a statement from Berkowitz.

"I'm putting the right people against the areas of greatest opportunity so we can focus on delivering the best software-powered experiences to customers," he said in the statement. "None of these adjustments represent a shift in the division's overall strategy or goals."

Bradford was profiled in today's Wall Street Journal. The story, which traces Bradford's clash with Microsoft's technology culture in her effort to build its advertising prowess, includes quotes from a leaked copy of her 2004 performance review. Microsoft, like most large companies, is very tight-lipped about personnel matters.

CEO Steve Ballmer, speaking at a conference in Seattle this morning, noted the story and later discussed technologies designed to control access to data such as individual emails.

"I do like the fact that we can now send e-mails around Microsoft which cannot be forwarded outside of the company," Ballmer said at the event for users of its SQL Server product. "That doesn't mean people don't sit there with a second computer and type them up and ship 'em to The Wall Street Journal."

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