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Top Microsoft Ad-Sales Exec to Head MSN

Joanne Bradford Move Underscores Portal's Importance to Company Future

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A major executive revamp at Microsoft's advertising division moves Joanne Bradford, the company's top ad-sales and marketing executive, over to run MSN -- and underscores the important role Microsoft feels the portal will play in driving future revenue and customers.
The move of Joanne Bradford from Microsoft's chief media revenue officer to head of MSN underscores the crucial importance of the portal to Microsoft's future. ALSO: Comment on this article in the 'Your Opinion' box below.
The move of Joanne Bradford from Microsoft's chief media revenue officer to head of MSN underscores the crucial importance of the portal to Microsoft's future. ALSO: Comment on this article in the 'Your Opinion' box below.

Ms. Bradford moves from corporate VP-global sales and marketing and chief media-revenue officer at Microsoft to heading MSN. Steve Berkowitz, senior VP, Microsoft's Online Services Group, made the announcement in a company memo yesterday. John Nichol, the general manager of MSN.com, will report into Ms. Bradford.

New responsibilities
Mr. Nichol has focused on the programming and content development for MSN, but his charter hasn't included the MSN marketing team, product-management team and business-development team, all of which will now report into Ms. Bradford.

"MSN represents a large portion of our audience and revenue, and there wasn't one person responsible for thinking about the portal experience, except Steve Berkowitz," Ms. Bradford said. "This says the portal is important and we're focusing on it as a media property."

Mr. Berkowitz joined Microsoft in May and has been focused on bolstering MSN's values in the marketplace, Ms. Bradford said.

Strong media background
Ms. Bradford was selected to lead the portal because of her strong media background and participation in the media community. She also has longtime marketing and sales experience. Chris Dobson will expand his international sales responsibilities to take over Ms. Bradford's former post, running global sales, and Bill Shaughnessy will run the Microsoft Digital Ad Solution Business Group with responsibility for product management and planning for the adCenter and ad-serving projects. Eric Hadley, Microsofts's general manager-global marketing, reports to Mr. Shaughnessy. The re-org doesn't include any work-force cuts, according to Microsoft.

Last January, Ms. Bradford was tapped to head global sales from her former role, which had her in charge of U.S. sales. The idea was that by consolidating its ad sales, not only for MSN.com but also for other web-based applications such as Xbox Live, Windows Live and Office Live, Microsoft was signaling it was serious about becoming a big media player.

Ms. Bradford said her move to MSN signals the emphasis the company is now placing on its portal.

"We're open to helping define the intersection in the online space between what is content and what is advertising," Ms. Bradford said. "There needs to be a clear thought process and understanding about how as marketers you market in the changing environment. How do you deal with user-generated [content] and social networking and the choices people have? We want to continue to do some experimenting."
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