Even Microsoft’s Own Staff Don’t Believe They’ll Stay In The Ad Business

exit sign

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Adweek published a deep, detailed look at Microsoft’s ad business and concluded:According to interviews with a dozen current and former Microsoft executives and others, this may be the beginning of the end for Microsoft Advertising.

(We concluded something similar back in July.)

Ad execs are pouring out of the software giant, Adweek says:

  • Adweek has learned that Todd Dunlap, who was vp & COO of Microsoft Advertising, has left the company to become managing director and president of Booking.com.
  • Jason Scott, gm, Microsoft Advertising Asia, resigned last week. 
  • “They are irrelevant,” says a digital media recruiter. “All I have is resumes from Microsoft ad execs looking to get out.”
  • “They shouldn’t be in the business,” agrees a former Microsoft ad executive.
  • “If I were a betting man, I’d say they’re out of the business within a year or a year and a half,” predicts a top buyer.

Those execs join these previous departures:

  • Richard Dunmall: vp of global agencies and accounts, April 2012, destination unknown.
  • Marc Bressel: vp of global marketing, April 2012, destination unknown.
  • Gavin Kim: general manager of Windows Phone team for five months, April 2012, NQ Mobile.
  • Max Zachariades: EMEA business manager, April 2012, unknown but he did write a blog about how boring it is to work at Microsoft.
  • Eric “Mr. Fun” Hadley: general manager for marketing communications for Bing, March 2012, destination unknown (fired).
  • Sean Carver: advertising director for Bing, March 2012, also fired for “mismanagement of company assets and vendor procurement.”
  • Danielle Tiedt: marketing general manager at Bing, February 2012, YouTube (her departure had something to do with high-end hand bags).
  • Jay Sampson: ran emerging media sales, June 2011, Machinima.
  • Carolyn Everson, head of global ad sales for eight months, February 2011, Facebook

The exodus was triggered in part by Microsoft’s go-it-alone insistence that its new browser, Internet Explorer 10, will launch with a “do-not-track” (DNT) default position that asks advertisers not to target users with ads. DNT is expected to be a disaster for the web ad business, and some executives believe it will be widely ignored by the industry.

What does Rik van der Kooi, vp of Microsoft Advertising Business Group, say? “This is simply refocus,” he told Adweek, “loose, disconnected events.”


  • The Ad Business ‘Will Not honour’ Microsoft’s ‘Do Not Track’ Plan For IE10, Exec Says
  • How Microsoft’s ‘Do Not Track’ Policy Is A Mortal Threat To Ad Exchanges Like Facebook’s
  • Here’s The Gaping Flaw in Microsoft’s ‘Do Not Track’ System For IE10
  • SOURCE: Microsoft May Abandon The Ad Business Over IE10 Fiasco
  • Here’s The Ridiculously Long List Of Microsoft Marketing Execs Who Have Left The Company