Microsoft Names New Head of U.S. Sales

Keith Lorizio Assumes Post Vacated by Robin Domeniconi

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NEW YORK ( -- Microsoft has appointed Keith Lorizio as VP of U.S. sales and marketing for its advertising division. The move is a promotion for Mr. Lorizio, a five-year company veteran and, most recently, VP-U.S. field sales. He reports to head of global sales Carolyn Everson, who joined the company last month from Viacom's MTV Networks.

Keith Lorizio
Keith Lorizio
"Having Carolyn on board these last few weeks has been amazing," Mr. Lorizio said. "And I have the most talented field sales organization, so things absolutely feel like they're coming into place."

Indeed, the appointment of Mr. Lorizio, 45, stabilizes a series of vacancies that have opened up in the online media and advertising world. In his new role, Mr. Lorizio fills the post left by Robin Domeniconi, who recently joined Hachette Filipacchi as its senior VP and chief brand officer for the Elle group, a position that opened up when Carol Smith left to join rival Conde Nast.

By assuming the top sales job at Microsoft, Ms. Everson -- who started three weeks ago (beginning, of all places, in Cannes for the International Advertising Awards) -- is filling the role left vacant by Joanne Bradford, who left the company in early 2008 and joined Yahoo as its sales chief. She then left the portal after only 18 months to join Demand Media.*

Yahoo is still seeking a global head of sales. After Yahoo bought Associated Content for $100 million, the company had reportedly offered the top sales role to Associated CEO Patrick Keane. According to people familiar with the matter, Mr. Keane has thus far declined. Yahoo's advertising network currently commands the biggest reach with 86.6% of the online audience, according to ComScore's May figures, and that is one of the challenges facing Mr. Lorizio in his new role. Microsoft Media Network reaches 73.5% of the online audience, ranking seventh among advertising networks.

"There's room for us to grow there," Mr. Larizio said. "Part of our strategy moving forward is to grow out the audience for our display business as well as promoting our premium content across our owned-and-operated properties." He also pointed out Yahoo's forthcoming integration of Microsoft's Bing would bring their search pie closer to 30% of the market. "It'll make us a viable option," he said.

Mr. Lorizio, came to Microsoft five years ago from Yahoo, where he was VP of a regional market. According to the company, he has helped to triple ad revenues and doubled the headcount of its sales team.

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CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Carol Smith left Hachette for Demand Media.

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