Yahoo has hired former Microsoft executive Blake Irving to be Chief Product Officer, the company announced this morning.
Kara Swisher previously reported that Yahoo was courting Blake to be an Internet “visionary” for the company.
Blake spent 15 years at Microsoft. He was in charge of the Windows Live Platform group. He left in 2007. Since January 2009 he’s been a professor at Pepperdine.
Here’s the release:
Yahoo! Inc. today announced the appointment of Blake Irving as Chief Product Officer. In related news, Prabhakar Raghavan will continue to lead innovation efforts at Yahoo! Labs as Chief Scientist. Both Irving and Raghavan will report directly to Carol Bartz, CEO. This new leadership will focus on speeding key inputs and decision making into product strategy and direction.
Ari Balogh, current head of products and technology, will be leaving the company on June 3 for personal reasons and will work closely with Irving to ensure a smooth transition. Irving will assume the position on May 17.
“Blake brings to Yahoo! genuine large scale Internet expertise from a mature company known for world-class technology. In addition, Prabhakar has invaluable technological insights and expertise that I look forward to having my executive team hear more directly,” said Bartz. “With leaders like Blake and Prabhakar, I am confident that we will increase technological innovation and deliver against our vision to be the centre of people’s online lives.”
“Yahoo! has an impressive product and technology portfolio that has provided unparalleled value to its customers at scale,” said Irving. “I look forward to working with the team to bring forward more unique and highly personal experiences to Yahoo! consumers, deliver on the company’s promise of Science, Art and Scale to Yahoo! advertisers, and develop the amazing talent at the company so we may continue to deliver more and faster innovations to the market.”
As Chief Product Officer, Irving will lead the company’s products organisation, which is responsible for the vision, strategy, design and development of Yahoo!’s global consumer and advertiser product portfolio.
Irving was most recently a professor at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management in Malibu, California. In his prior role as corporate vice president of the Windows Live Platform group, Irving led a team of 4,000 to build and operate Microsoft’s Internet-scale services platform, advertiser and developer ecosystem. Irving also held a variety of development and general management positions at Microsoft.
Before joining Microsoft, Irving held development and product marketing management positions at Xerox Corp., Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd. and Compaq Computer Corp. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University and a Master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University.
Raghavan joined Yahoo! in 2005, and serves as Chief Scientist and head of Yahoo! Labs. Raghavan’s research priorities include text and web mining, and algorithm design. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Raghavan was the chief technology officer at Verity and held a number of technical and managerial positions at IBM Research. He is a consulting professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Association of Computing Machinery. He has co-authored two textbooks on randomised algorithms and information retrieval. Raghavan received his PhD from Berkeley and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as a fellow of the ACM and of the IEEE.
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