Nadella Would Bring Search Cred To Microsoft CEO Role

Satya Nadella Microsoft Based on several reports is appears very likely that Microsoft will announce that Satya Nadella will be the next CEO. He brings an engineering background to the C suite. He's also a B-school grad. For the past three years Nadella has run Microsoft's Server & Tools business. Before that he was in charge of Bing and online advertising. Nadella presided over the transition from Live Search to Bing and understands the search business. Nokia's Stephen Elop said that he might consider selling Bing if he were elevated to the CEO role. Nadella would be very unlikely to do that, recogniz [...]


Potential Microsoft CEO Elop Would Consider Selling Bing

bing-featured The Microsoft CEO derby is heating up. As we discussed earlier this week the short list is down to a handful of candidates, including current Ford CEO Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop (soon to rejoin Microsoft in charge of devices). Apparently Elop has floated some bold ideas that may vault him to the head of the class or could disqualify him based on their potential heresy. Businessweek reports that as Microsoft CEO "Elop would probably move away from Microsoft’s strategy of using [Office] to drive demand for its flagship Windows operating system on personal computers and [...]


Microsoft Hires Hillary Clinton’s Former Campaign Chief Mark Penn For Bing Strategy Role

[caption id="attachment_128353" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Credit: MarkPenn.com"][/caption] By all accounts Microsoft is struggling. It's true that Bing is growing, but only slightly, while partner Yahoo continues to lose search share (to Bing) keeping the "Search Alliance" in the doldrums. Microsoft also recently took $6+ billion write-down on its 2007 aQuantive acquisition, resulting in a loss for its most recent fiscal quarter. Its core Office and Windows franchises are still healthy but their future is cloudy as PC sales continue to slow. Microsoft's Windows Phones and m [...]


Key Microsoft Executive Yusuf Mehdi Leaves Bing Division For XBox

Yusuf Mehdi, who reportedly is the " longest-running executive in Microsoft’s Online Services Division," (which houses Bing) is heading over to the company's Xbox division. Reasons for the shift aren't entirely clear. But Mehdi is a key executive for "OSD" and was instrumental in the creation and successful launch of Bing. According to the internal memo obtained by Geekwire, Mehdi and his tenure are described as follows: Yusuf has been involved with leading Microsoft Online Services businesses longer than anyone else on the OSD LT, and has been a pivotal leader at critical milestones of [...]


Googlers: Single With No Kids & Drinking Mountain View

Rapleaf published some interesting data comparing Google employees to Microsoft employees. TechCrunch published the report, which we will embed below as well. The study was made up of matching 6,000 Google employees and 16,000 Microsoft employees email addresses with grocery purchase behavior in partnership with a loyalty card aggregator. They determined a lot of interesting differences between Googlers and Microsoft employees. Googlers are more likely to buy bacon, ice cream, fresh fruits and vegetables, Mountain Dew and Doritos Microsoft employees are more likely to buy vitamins, b [...]


Bing’s Chief Scientist, Alek Kołcz, Joins Twitter

ReadWrite/Web reports Microsoft's Principal Scientist of Bing has left to join the Twitter team. Alek Kołcz, formerly a Scientist at Microsoft Live Labs, a co-chair at CIKM and a System Architect at AOL is now at Twitter. The Twitter employee page has Alek's Twitter avatar and @zorbageek linked to at the bottom. There has not been any official confirmation or announcement from Twitter or Bing outside of this employee page update. ReadWrite/Web said: Kołcz is an info-science heavy, having published numerous research articles in publications like The Journal of Supercomputing, Ne [...]


Microsoft’s CEO, Ballmer: Google Is “Copying” Us

The Seattle Times Newspaper published an interview with Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer. The interview covered many topics but I wanted to highlight the search specific topics. Ballmer in the interview said, "They're [Google] starting to look at the stuff we're doing and copying it back. What is it? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." He outright says Google is copying them. Of course, many would agree. I also found Ballmer's comments on what Bing does better than Google. Ballmer said, "our maps are better, our images our better, our picture is different." In response to [...]


Ballmer Blogs His Thoughts On Google, China

Both current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and former CEO Bill Gates have recently spoken out critically about Google's stance on doing business in China. (See my previous posts, Ballmer Critical Of Google’s China Decision and Like Ballmer, Bill Gates Dings Google On China.) Now, Ballmer is putting his thoughts in writing ... well, electronic writing ... via a post on Microsoft's new blog. Says Ballmer: Engagement in China and around the world is very important to us, in part because we believe it accelerates access to 21st century technology and services and helps provide the widest po [...]


Top Microsoft Execs Get A Pay Cut

Appropriately top Microsoft executives, coming off  the "worst year ever" for the company, are sharing some of the pain. As PaidContent reports, the top executives at the company took a compensation hit based on the sales and revenue declines. Here are some of the numbers: CEO Steve Ballmer $1.265 million vs. $1.34 million a year ago CFO Chris Liddell: $3.5 million vs. $4.8 million COO Kevin Turner: $5.4 million vs. $8.6 million Entertainment and Devices President Robbie Bach: $6.2 million vs. $8.3 million The snark impulse is pretty strong and I'm trying not to write something v [...]


Microsoft’s adCenter GM & Search Researcher Eric Brill Moves To eBay,

eBay has announced they have hired Dr. Eric Brill as their vice president of research and applied science to lead up eBay's research labs team. Prior, Dr. Brill was General Manager of adCenter Labs at Microsoft and before that, he Director and Principal Researcher and head of the Text Mining, Search and Navigation Group at Microsoft Research. Microsoft has quietly pulled his bio page but Google still has a cached version. "Search is all about predictions, highly educated guesses about what people really mean when they type in a word like Diesel or a phrase like 'red, white and blue'," [...]


Gulli Leaves Ask.com For Microsoft Bing, Finally Has “Resources”

Ten days ago, we reported that Antonio Gulli left Ask.com after 4 years heading up their technology team in the European R&D center. Gulli announced his new plans are to continue in search, but switch ships and work for Microsoft Bing. Gulli said he will be "leading all the engineering development for UX and verticals in Europe," focusing on Microsoft Bing's search technology and user interface. He will be working at Microsoft's London site of STC Europe nearby Carnaby Street. What I found most interesting about his announcement post was that he, in not so many words, explained that he [...]


Microsoft’s Lu A Formidable Search Foe For Google

The NY Times offers an extensive and flattering profile of the former Yahoo EVP Qi Lu who, in January, 2009 was named president of online services for Microsoft. Lu was deemed an unlikely appointment by some given his background not as a business and advertising executive but rather as an engineer. However, he was apparently instrumental in helping facilitate the Yahoo-Microsoft search deal. One of the striking things about the article is the uniform praise Lu receives from former Yahoo colleages and Google's Udi Manber: "He is probably the best competition I can have." The other is Lu's d [...]


Micro-Hoo: The Details Emerge With SEC Filing

First to pounce on the SEC 8-K filing by Yahoo was PaidContent, which provides an extensive bulleted list of many of the deal terms not revealed last week during the frenzy of conference calls and articles that followed the official announcement of the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal. CNET also writes about selected aspects of the deal contained in the filing, specifically an "escape clause" (termination) for Yahoo (see below). And the AP has a short piece on how the deal terms require Microsoft to hire at least 400 Yahoo employees. Here are some verbatim excerpts from the SEC filing: Negotiat [...]


Microsoft Misses Earnings, Yahoo Board Meets About Potential Microsoft Search Deal

Microsoft reported worse-than-expected earnings yesterday. The company was about a billion dollars off analysts consensus expectations. According to the Microsoft release, the company had huge revenues but still missed: $13.10 billion for the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2009, a 17% decline from the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $3.99 billion, $3.05 billion and $0.34 per share, which represented declines of 30%, 29% and 26%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period. For the full fiscal year reve [...]


Microsoft Announces 3,000 New Layoffs

Today, Microsoft announced that it had delivered layoff notices to 3,000 employees across several divisions (1,200 in Washington state). This comes just months after an initial round of 1,400 who were let go when Microsft announced second quarter earnings. At that time, Microsoft said it planned to eliminate 5,000 jobs this year, and Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer said that today's news was phase two of that plan (with the remainder planned for sometime before June 2010 and "as quickly as possible"). However, Steve Ballmer didn't rule out additional layoffs. In an internal memo, he said: As [...]


Who’s Coming & Going In The Search Industry?

Over the weekend, there seemed to be a lot of activity on people coming and going at search companies. I figured I sum up some of those moves in a short post here. Former Googler Douglas Bowman, who resigned from Google due to Google being too data centric has taken a job at Twitter, according to TechCrunch. Priti Choksi, a director of strategic partner development at Google has moved to Facebook, according to VentureBeat. Well-known Greg Linden is Leaving Microsoft after Microsoft has "dismantled" Live Labs. Brad Williams, Yahoo Inc.'s head of communications has left the company. Rumo [...]


Microsoft Cuts Live Labs Staff By Half, Will Focus On Search

PaidContent.org reports that Microsoft's Live Labs group has been cut in half, and the remaining crew will focus only on search. The departing team members will move on to other Microsoft product groups, such as Live Search, Windows Mobile, and Microsoft Advertising. In a post on the Live Labs Blog, Microsoft downplays the changes: "...moving great people and projects into the the product groups has always been part of our process, so today's news is entirely consistent with what we've always done. Contrary to recent whispers and tweets, we are not shutting down, disbanding, dismantli [...]


Long Time Yahoo Search Scientist Jan Pedersen Joins Microsoft

The Yahoo-to-Microsoft defections continue with news today from paidContent.org that Jan Pedersen is the new chief scientist for Live Search. This one isn't exactly a defection, because Pedersen comes to Microsoft from Amazon's A9.com. But he was Chief Scientist and VP, Search and Advertising Technology Group, at Yahoo prior to that. And before his Yahoo stint, Pedersen was with both Alta Vista and Infoseek. He's the latest in a string of ex-Yahoo's to start working for Microsoft. Others include Sean Suchter, Dr. Qi Lu (who will be keynoting at SMX Advanced), and, most recently, Larry H [...]


The Big List Of Search Engines & Their Employees On Twitter

Yesterday, Google joined Twitter with a company account. We twittered a few search engine-related addresses as part of our post about that, but we wanted to do one that was a little more organized. So welcome to our big search engine Twitter list! The list isn't complete, nor will it ever be. But that's how it went with blogging. A few years ago, search engines and their employees jumped into the world of blogging (our Search Engine Land blogroll lists a number of these). "Who's blogging" lists soon emerged, until blogging became so mainstream that people stopped bothering to keep track. [...]


Microsoft Continues Peeling Off Yahoo Search Talent

Microsoft (so far) has been unable to buy Yahoo or Yahoo search assets, so it instead continues to take search talent away from the company. Last year Microsoft successfully lured engineering lead Qi Lu from Yahoo to become head of the company's Online Services Group. Redmond also recently nabbed Sean Suchter from Yahoo. Now Bloomberg and CNET report that another Yahoo executive, Larry Heck, will be working on Microsoft search. Heck was, until now, Vice President of the Search & Advertising Sciences at Yahoo Labs. Before that he was Vice President of R&D at Nuance Communications, "w [...]


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