Microsoft said today that Scott Howe, the top executive in charge of its Advertiser & Publisher Solutions group, is leaving the company. Howe is replaced by Rik van der Kooi, CFO of Microsoft's Online Services Division.
Howe came to Microsoft through its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, where he led the launch of the Drive PM performance-based ad network. Later, as corporate VP of Microsoft APS, he oversaw many of Microsoft's products for advertisers, including AdCenter, Atlas Solutions, and the integrated ad network unit known as Microsoft Media Network.
When Microsoft Media Network launched a year ago, Howe told ClickZ that by pooling inventory from Microsoft's properties and ad networks, the company would free up its sales and account teams to be more creative.
"There needs to be a single quarterback," he said at the time. "Our belief has always been the best results for advertisers will be when they have the ability to buy real granular segments but at massive scale."
Howe is also credited with negotiating Microsoft's divesture of Razorfish and building industry ties through deeper involvement with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and other groups.
His last day is May 14.His replacement, Van der Kooi, has been closely involved with Microsoft's integration of Yahoo's search business, while also overseeing financial and operational duties in the Online Service Division.
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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.