Microsoft Ad Sales Chief Carolyn Everson Jumps to Facebook

Fast-Growing Social Network Gets Global Sales Exec, While Revolving Door at Tech Giant Spins

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NEW YORK ( -- After only nine months in charge of global ad sales at Microsoft, Carolyn Everson has jumped ship for Facebook.

Ms. Everson will be Facebook's new VP-global sales, the social-networking giant confirmed in an email. Facebook had been seeking a sales leader since Mike Murphy stepped down last fall. Microsoft is an investor and longtime ad-sales partner with Facebook, giving Ms. Everson plenty of opportunity to become acquainted with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Carolyn Everson
Carolyn Everson

Reached at her home, Ms. Everson declined to comment on her move. Facebook released a statement from Ms. Sandberg after Kara Swisher at AllThingsD reported the news.

"Microsoft was one of our earliest partners and is still one of our most valued," the statement said. "We have a long and strong relationship that includes search ads on our site, a social layer on Bing search results and a deep and popular integration with Xbox. They are a leader when it comes to unlocking the power of social for their already popular products and services. We look forward to continuing to expand our relationship with them."

Ms. Everson had been hired to turn Microsoft's struggling ad business around. According to Microsoft's website, Ms. Everson was in charge of the company's "multibillion-dollar advertising business across Bing, MSN, Windows Live, Mobile, Gaming, Atlas and the Microsoft Media Network."

Now she's jumping from one truly global network to another, albeit one in hyper-growth mode. Ms. Everson will report to former Google executive David Fischer, VP-advertising and global operations.

Last June -- after a couple of months at Microsoft -- Ms. Everson told Ad Age she was going to act as Microsoft's "ambassador to the advertising industry, and that is one of my most important roles, to clearly articulate what Microsoft can do for its marketing partners." Facebook has a reputation as very difficult to work with for brands, one reason third-party Facebook agencies and technology providers have flourished.

Microsoft, on the other hand, is known for its willingness to bend over backward for marketers and is consistently rated highly in "advertiser satisfaction" by the survey firm Advertiser Perceptions.

Yet the Microsoft sales job has been a revolving door over the past several years, with Demand Media's Joanne Bradford, Hachette Filipacchi's Robin Domeniconi and now Ms. Everson passing through. U.S. head of sales Keith Lorizio now becomes an obvious internal candidate to fill the job next.

Prior to joining Microsoft last year, Ms. Everson was MTV Networks' chief operating officer and exec VP-strategy and operations. She previously worked at Viacom, where she spearheaded a $500 million multi-year advertising deal with Microsoft at the end of 2007. Ms. Everson had also managed web operations for Primedia and Zagat in addition to holding posts in cable TV.

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