McAndrews Departs Microsoft, Yahoo Vet to Lead Web Mission

QiLu_page.jpgMicrosoft has named Qi Lu, the former EVP of Engineering for Yahoo Search and Advertising, to run its Online Services Group. In the role, he’ll oversee a sprawling universe of technologies and media platforms, including MSN, Microsoft Live Search, AdCenter, and aQuantive-owned Atlas.

With the appointment, Brian McAndrews, the former CEO of aQuantive who had jockeyed for the position, will leave the company.

As president of online services, Lu will lead the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions business, which includes Atlas, DRIVEpm, MSN Direct Response, and Microsoft AdCenter. He’ll also handle the Online Audience business, which includes MSN and Microsoft Live Search. In addition, his fiefdom includes OSG Research and Development, and OSG Finance.

Taken together, Lu (pictured above) oversees some of the most important areas of development for Microsoft as it battles head-to-head with Google and other Web giants to command eyeballs and ad dollars on the Web.

Lu will begin work January 5 and report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer, who praised the new protégé’s “deep technical expertise, leadership capabilities and hard-working mentality.”

In announcing McAndrews’ departure, Microsoft noted the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group SVP had led the integration of aQuantive, which it said is “now complete.” Many in the digital ad space have praised the handling of that acquisition.

“Brian McAndrews built a world-class business for advertisers and publishers and led the successful integration of aQuantive into Microsoft, setting the foundation for our next phase of growth,” said Ballmer in a statement.

Lu joined Yahoo from IBM Almaden Research Center in 1998, and went on to hold a variety of engineering roles. Before being named EVP of Engineering, he led development of Yahoo’s search, e-commerce, and local business listings.

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