Microsoft may be close to naming a new CEO, but now it will also need to a new ad sales exec.
Keith Lorizio, VP-U.S. sales for Microsoft's advertising division, is no longer with the company. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the news, which Adweek had reported earlier on Friday.
"We can confirm that Keith Lorizio, VP of US Sales for Microsoft Advertising, is no longer with the company. Barry Dougan, General Manager of Global Specialist Sales, will assume interim leadership of the US ad sales organization while we conduct a rigorous and thoughtful search for a permanent replacement. This search will include internal as well as external candidates," the spokesperson said in a statement.
Mr. Lorizio did not return calls requesting comment.
A thirteen-year Microsoft veteran, Mr. Lorizio took over sales and marketing for Microsoft's ads division in 2010. In that role he reported to global sales head Carolyn Everson, who left in 2011 to join Facebook. Mr. Lorizio's duties expanded in 2012 to include management of Microsoft's global agency team after the exec in charge of that team left.
Microsoft remains among the country's top digital ad sellers. EMarketer ranks the company third in that category, ahead of Yahoo. However Microsoft has ceded -- and is expected to further concede -- market share to the top two U.S. digital ad sellers, Google and Facebook.
Microsoft has also faced questions over its commitment to ad sales. In 2012 the company took a $6.2 billion writedown tied to its 2007 acquisition of ad-tech company aQuantive. And later that year it sold its ad serving business Atlas to Facebook, a move considered to further seesaw Facebook's and Microsoft's positions in the digital ad market.
Microsoft advertising execs have argued that advertising remains important to the company. But the division's role seems to have narrowed its focus to selling ads on Microsoft's properties -- corresponding with the company's "devices and services" talking point -- as opposed to having a larger hand in the ecosystem.