Microsoft Replaces Ad Sales Chief In Wake Of Yahoo Slam


Photo: FarinelliMoi on flickr

Microsoft announced a new chief of advertising sales today: Frank Holland. He replaces Darren Huston, who will be moving out of the role over the next three months.Microsoft gave no reason for the change, but on Tuesday, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz publicly blamed Microsoft’s adCenter search advertising platform for poor performance. She said that Yahoo’s revenue per search was down since switching to adCenter, and implied that the platform wasn’t delivering relevant ads.

Huston oversaw Microsoft’s global advertising sales and consumer marketing. However, he was not responsible for the adCenter platform technology.

The new group will be called Advertising and Online and won’t include other consumer businesses, suggesting that Microsoft is taking a closer look at the ad business.

All of this falls under the empire of Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, who is probably the second most powerful person at Microsoft after CEO Steve Ballmer. He’s a tough manager who is not afraid to make leadership changes when performance is lagging.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson denied previous reports that Huston is leaving the company at this time.

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