Cole's departure is the latest in a string of executive changes at MSN.
MSN honcho David Cole has exited his post, the latest in a string of executive changes at the portal.
The departure of Cole, whose title was SVP, MSN and Personal Services Group, was characterized by Microsoft as a sabbatical.
"David's decision to take a leave of absence was based on his desire to take a step back from a 20 year career and figure out what he wants to do next," MSN Global Sales Director Adam Sohn said in a company statement.
But it also appears possible his departure is part of a larger strategy to give the somewhat wobbly portal a fresh start. That strategy also includes the recent appointment of John Nicol to help run MSN, and the promotions earlier this month of Joe Michaels and Rob Bennett to lead entertainment and video services.
After suffering a series of high profile defections last year, the company clearly needs to do something. Last April, Yahoo hired away Scott Moore, MSN's general manager of programming. And shortly after being named to lead MSN Video as executive producer, Cyrus Krohn also disembarked for Yahoo
Cole's exit brings a close, or at least a pause, to a two-decades-long career with Microsoft. In addition to his oversight of MSN, Cole has had recent responsibility for the personal services group and .NET offerings. Earlier, he was SVP of the consumer services division and VP of the consumer Windows division.
Microsoft is now seeking a replacement, executives said.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!
Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.
September 17, 2014
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT