Yesterday, Microsoft confirmed the departure of Brad Goldberg, Search Business Group General Manager:
Goldberg is leaving to become chief executive of the online business at the Peak6 investment company.
The Redmond company acknowledged Goldberg’s impending departure in response to an inquiry this evening, describing the situation as amicable. Another Microsoft veteran, Mike Nichols, will replace Goldberg as general manager of Live Search product management at the beginning of the year.
This seems to be more of the continuing fallout from the appointment of Yahoo’s Dr. Qi Lu to run Microsoft’s Online Services Group. Earlier, Microsoft had revealed the upcoming departure in March of online ad sales chief Bill Shaughnessy whose organization was folded into Microsoft’s centralized Sales, Marketing and Services Group when Dr. Lu arrived.
Microsoft today announced that they had persuaded Yahoo’s Dr. Qi Lu to sit in the hot seat at the head of their Online Services Group which had been glaringly empty since the departure of Kevin Johnson in July:
Microsoft Corp. today announced that Dr. Qi Lu will join the company as president of the Online Services Group. Dr. Lu will lead Microsoft’s efforts in search and online advertising and all the company’s online information and communications services. Dr. Lu will report to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.
Lu, 47, most recently served as executive vice president of Engineering for the Search and Advertising Technology Group at Yahoo!, where he was responsible for development efforts around Yahoo!’s Web search and monetization platforms. Dr. Lu left Yahoo! in August 2008 after 10 years of service.
Without trying to allocate blame, I can’t help but observe that if Yahoo had a decent "Web search and monetization platform" they wouldn’t be in the difficult situation that they currently find themselves where selling some of their search keywords to Google looked like a good deal..
Lu’s first day at Microsoft will be Jan. 5, 2009. In his role running the Online Services Group, he will oversee several groups including the Advertiser & Publisher Solutions business, managed by Scott Howe who was promoted to corporate vice president; the Online Audience business, managed by Senior Vice President Yusuf Mehdi; OSG Research & Development, managed by Senior Vice President Satya Nadella; and OSG Finance, managed by Rik van der Kooi who was promoted to corporate vice president.
The Advertiser & Publisher Solutions business had been run by Brian McAndrews who came to Microsoft with the acquisition of aQuantive and had been rumored to be moving up in the Microsoft hierarchy, but he didn’t get to be head honcho and is now moving on:
With the successful integration of aQuantive now complete, Brian McAndrews, former CEO of aQuantive and senior vice president of Microsoft’s Advertiser & Publisher Solutions Group, has decided to transition out of Microsoft, and will do so over the next several months, serving in a consultative capacity to Steve Ballmer and Qi Lu during that time.
One interesting tidbit is that the advertising salesmen so beloved of previous Microsoft online executives have been shifted:
As part of today’s announcement, several teams will move to further align resources. The field sales organizations in the Online Services Group will move to Microsoft’s centralized Sales, Marketing and Services Group led by chief operating officer Kevin Turner. This group, called Consumer & Online, will be led by Corporate Vice President Darren Huston and will include the Global Advertising Sales and Services organization, led by vice president Bill Shaughnessy.
So Dr. Lu will not be distracted by mundane commercial considerations which is fine given his engineering background and presumably he has made that distinction clear to CEO Steve Ballmer. However, eventually it will come down to the bottom line no matter how much the Microsoft online properties glitter from a technical perspective.
Ed Bott breaks the news that the Sysinternals utilities which Microsoft acquired with the Winternals Software company back in 2006 and continued to make available for free are now available as a beta in "Live" form. This means that you can execute them directly from the Internet without going through a download and installation:
Simply enter a tool’s Sysinternals Live path into Windows Explorer or a command prompt as \\live.sysinternals.com\tools\<toolname> or view the entire Sysinternals Live tools directory in a browser at http://live.sysinternals.com [and click on the link for the utility you want].
I’m glad Microsoft finally found something new and useful to put under the Live brand, and while these utilities are likely to only appeal to hardcore techies, it’s the thought that counts.
Back in October, 2007 Microsoft established a new branding policy for its online offerings and in keeping with that has announced that henceforth its hosted CRM Live application would henceforth be named CRM Online. No changes in the expected 2Q2008 general availability – just a name change from Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
The distinction is that hosted versions of Microsoft’s ordinary server software applications are now supposed to get the “Online” moniker while real Web applications for individuals and small businesses get the “Live” appellation. In the first rush of Microsoft’s “Live” enthusiasm, the hosted version of CRM ended up being named “CRM Live” and this was merely a realignment.