AOL has hired former Microsoft VP Alex Gounares as its chief technology officer, AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher reports.
Gounares replaces former CTO Ted Cahall, who left AOL in January.
Interestingly, Gounares was NOT poached from Google, where AOL CEO Tim Armstrong once led sales. (He has since filled his staff with ex-Googlers.)
Gounares’ departure was announced at Microsoft today, Swisher relays.
Here’s his bio at Microsoft:
As corporate vice president of Advertising Research and Development, Alexander Gounares is responsible for leading the engineering efforts for Microsoft Corp.’s digital advertising products. These technologies power Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar global advertising business, and include search, display, video, gaming, and mobile advertising, as well as tools for advertisers and publishers. More information on these products can be found at http://advertising.microsoft.com.
Before taking this role, Gounares was the corporate vice president for Corporate Strategy, where he was responsible for helping set the overall strategic direction for the company. Before that, Gounares spent three years as the technology assistant to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, and he also was responsible for helping formulate and drive the technical strategy for the company. Gounares has been involved with many initiatives across the company, covering everything from search to workflow technologies to new Internet services such as Microsoft Virtual Earth and Windows Live SkyDrive.
Since joining Microsoft in 1993 as a software developer, Gounares has worked on a variety of projects in a number of roles. Before he was Gates’ technical assistant, he worked on the Microsoft Tablet PC operating system as a development manager, architect, and acting general manager. During his work on Tablet PC, Gounares was responsible for leading the creation of Microsoft’s Tablet PC Platform, including the digital ink and digital pen technologies. He also ran the handwriting recognition research team, leading the creation of products resulting from Microsoft’s research in the field and helping set the company’s long-term research agenda for advanced handwriting recognition and digital ink analysis.
Before joining the Tablet PC group, Gounares spent several years as a development manager for next-generation Microsoft Office technologies. Earlier in his career at Microsoft, he was a developer for core platform technologies, and he helped ship Windows NT 3.5 and Windows NT 3.51, Office 97, and Internet Explorer 4.0.
Before coming to Microsoft, Gounares worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory and several small companies, including a startup he launched. He holds a bachelor of science and engineering in computer science, cum laude, from Princeton University.
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