Dayne Sampson, Yahoo’s VP of Operations for Search and Advertising, is quitting the company to join Microsoft’s “Global Foundation Services division, the group charged with supporting Microsoft’s MSN and Windows Live branded services,” AllThingsD reports.
He joins a group of now five Yahoo (YHOO) search execs who have defected to Microsoft (MSFT).
At Microsoft, Dayne will be surrounded by other ex-Yahoos including:
- Microsoft Live Search chief scientist Jan Pedersen
- Qi Lu, now head of Microsoft Online
- Former Yahoo’s VP of Search Technology Sean Suchter
- Yahoo Labs brainiac Larry Heck
Ultimately, Microsoft will still want to get some sort of search deal with Yahoo done. But if/when that happens, assimilating Yahoo’s data shouldn’t be too hard for Microsoft — the company has already hired several people who know how Yahoo’s search engine is built.