Microsoft Hires Yahoo! Ex-Exec to Head Online Services Group

Paul Lilly

So Microsoft isn't going to acquire to Yahoo, but it did manage to snag Qi Lu , a former search and advertising executive at Yahoo with 10 years of experience under his belt. Lu, 47, will serve as Microsoft's president of the Online Service Group and will report directly to company CEO Steve Ballmer.

"I am tremendously excited to welcome Qi to Microsoft,” Ballmer said . “Dr. Lu’s deep technical expertise, leadership capabilities and hard-working mentality are well-known in the technology industry, and Microsoft will benefit from his addition to our executive management team."

Lu will clock in for the first time on January 5, 2009 and begin work overseeing several groups, including the Advertiser & Publisher Solutions business. While Lu's experience should be a valuable asset in helping Microsoft become more competitive with Google and Yahoo in online search revenue, it's interesting to note that Microsoft has replaced the leadership role of its online unit about every two to three years since jumping into the internet business a little over a decade ago. And not everyone is convinced Lu will fare any better.

"Does this make Microsoft more competitive in search today? No," said Colin Gillis , an analyst with Click Capital Research in New York.

Image Credit: Microsoft

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