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.
Learn Digital Marketing Insights From Leading Brands!
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda, or register and attend one of the best ClickZ events yet!
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.
Singapore, 3-4 November
Hong Kong, 8-9 December
Hong Kong, 8-9 December
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.
November 19, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT