Microsoft revamps online services arm

Microsoft has appointed the former CEO of aQuantive to head up a new division devoted to serving advertisers and publishers, moves that are part of the company's close of its acquisition of the digital media and advertising services firm.

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Microsoft has appointed the former CEO of aQuantive to head up a new division devoted to serving advertisers and publishers, moves that are part of the company's close of its acquisition of the digital media and advertising services firm.

Brian McAndrews is now senior vice president of the new Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group (APS) at Microsoft, the company said Monday, announcing the completion of the US$6 billion aQuantive deal.

Last week, aQuantive shareholders approved the purchase, first announced in May as part of Microsoft's strategy to compete head-to-head in online advertising with search giant Google.

APS will be a part of Microsoft's Platforms & Services Division (PSD), and McAndrews will report to the president of that division, Kevin Johnson.

As part of the reorganization, Microsoft also has formed the Emerging Media Group within APS to handle the functions of other advertising-related acquisitions, including Massive and ScreeTonic, which Cory Van Arsdale, CEO of Microsoft's Massive subsidiary, will continue to lead. The Emerging Media Group will report to Karl Siebrecht, president of Atlas, one of the entities Microsoft is acquiring in the deal.

McAndrews and the new APS group are responsible for building and marketing all of the technologies and operations around the buying, selling and exchange of online advertising, including all of the infrastructure Microsoft now has to serve up ads online and help advertisers and publishers connect.

Among the products under the leadership of the division is Microsoft's adCenter platform that allows for the purchase of search-based advertising. Tools acquired from aQuantive that also are overseen by the division are Atlas, which is software for managing advertising campaigns, and DRIVEpm, which provides services to publishers and advertisers that match advertiser campaigns with publisher inventory. The interactive agency Avenue A Razorfish also will be a part of APS.

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