Earlier this month it was revealed that Blake Irving, Microsoft’s Windows Live Development leader, and Christopher Payne, head of development for Windows Live Search, were leaving the company. Today, Benjamin J. Romano reports at the Seattle Times that Microsoft has tapped Satya Nadella to run a new Internet search and ad organization formed out of the pieces and reporting directly to Platforms and Services Division President Kevin Johnson:
Microsoft will try a new combination of leadership and organizational structure to lift its Internet search business out of the cellar.
The company on Wednesday named Satya Nadella … to head research and development for a new group combining both Internet search and the advertising platform through which search generates cash.
Nadella, who will take over by April 19, assumes responsibility for a high-profile, high-pressure part of the business where Microsoft has struggled against entrenched competition.
Last month, more than half of the estimated 3.6 billion U.S. Internet searches were done using Google. Yahoo! was second and Microsoft’s MSN/Windows Live Search was third with a 9.6 percent share, according to data released earlier this week by Nielsen//NetRatings. What’s more, Google expanded its market share by 40 percent in the previous year; Microsoft grew 9 percent.
We mentioned the NetRatings numbers on Tuesday and yesterday comScore reported an even gloomier picture for Microsoft. Nadella is used to gloomy pictures though – his previous assignment was leading the troubled Microsoft Business Solutions.
Update: Ed Oswald at Betanews reports that Tami Reller will be the temporary replacement for Nadella at MBS (aka Dynamics).