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March 22, 2007

Context on Microsoft search and ad group

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 5:45 PM

Adam Sohn, director of global sales and marketing with Microsoft's online services effort, provided more detail Thursday about the rationale behind uniting Microsoft's Live Search and adCenter platform in one group under new leadership.

Search was part of Senior Vice President Steven Sinofsky's Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group. The advertising platform, adCenter, resided under Blake Irving's leadership. Irving is retiring this summer. "

Sohn: "We basically took those two things out of there and put them together in a new organization [reporting directly to Platforms and Services Division President] Kevin Johnson. A signal, for sure, of our commitment to the importance of this business.

"Organizationally, I think it helps them function better as one of these cross-company, cross-property, cross-device technologies. When you look at the advertising platform, it's going to power advertising across all of these Microsoft properties and devices. Anywhere advertising is going to show up, it's going to be powered by adCenter. Search is the same way. So I think breaking them out, putting them [directly] under Satya Nadella and putting them under Kevin directly, gives him the ability to pay some more attention and put some more of his brain on it and also sort of sets them up to become kind of their own center of gravity in a way having them separated didn't seem to do."

More changes might be on their way in the coming months.

Sohn: "This is Kevin making moves and tuning the org. I think he's always looking. I think there's some more stuff that will come certainly as Blake nears his retirement at the end of the summer and possibly before."

In addition to adCenter, Blake Irving, corporate vice president of the Windows Live Platform group, oversees "datacenter and technical operations ... storage and payments infrastructure, backend communications and collaboration platform, business and customer intelligence, security and safety identity, VoIP, Mobile, global development and supportability capabilities and supporting application services built across the company, including Windows Live, Office Live, Xbox Live and other Microsoft applications," according to Microsoft's PR firm.

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