Microsoft Taps Yahoo Exec To Lead Online Group

On Thursday, Microsoft announced that Dr. Qi Lu, former executive vice president of engineering for the Search and Advertising Technology Group at Yahoo, will take over as president of Microsoft's Online Services Group on Jan. 5.

Lu, who spent 10 years at Yahoo and left the company in August, oversaw development of Yahoo's search and monetization platforms, and will fill one of the executive slots created when Microsoft split its Platforms & Services Division (PSD) into two groups in July.

The re-organized PSD consists of the Online Services Group and the Windows/Windows Live group, which is helmed by Senior Vice Presidents Steven Sinofsky, Jon DeVaan and Bill Veghte. Both groups report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Kevin Johnson, former president of the PSD, left Microsoft in July to take the CEO position at Juniper Networks.

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Lu will oversee Microsoft's 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.

At Yahoo, Lu also served as vice president of engineering responsible for the technology development of Yahoo!'s Search and Marketplace business unit. Prior to joining Yahoo, Lu was a Research Staff Member at IBM's Almaden Research Center.

"Microsoft has built a great foundation for its search and advertising technologies and put an amazing team of researchers and engineers in place to drive the next wave of innovation in online services," Lu said in a statement.

Microsoft also said that Brian McAndrews, former CEO of aQuantive and senior vice president of Microsoft's Advertiser & Publisher Solutions Group, will leave the company. According to several Microsoft bloggers, the timing of the news suggests that McAndrews had been angling for the Online Services Group position and was disappointed by the snub.