(image credit) Rumors have been flying for some time, and I was not posting them. But now I have confirmation. Steve Berkowitz, head of Ask and someone I’ve worked with indirectly in the past (he was at IDG Books when I was at The Standard, an IDG property), is going to run MSFT’s online MSN.
Will take some time to digest this. I had just asked him to speak at Web 2. Now I REALLY want him to speak at Web 2.
An email I just got from MSFT PR, which includes an email from Kevin Johnson, a group president over MSN at MSFT:
Microsoft has hired Steve Berkowitz as SVP of the Online Business Group. He will be responsible for running the Online Business group, which includes include MSN.com, MSNTV and MSN Internet Access programming, advertising sales, business development, and marketing for Live Platforms, MSN and Windows Live. This team’s mission is to deliver world-class go to market leadership, that wins customers to our services and builds a world leading advertising business. The responsibility for the monetization of our Live Platform, MSN and Windows Live assets is owned by this team, and includes end-to-end management of the online P&L.
As you know, Steve is an accomplished senior executive with a rich skill set, including brand building, marketing operations, people management, finance and tech. Please know that PressPass will be updated shortly with additional information, so please check back shortly. Feel free to call if you have any questions.
MAIL FROM KEVIN JOHNSON
I am pleased to announce that Steve Berkowitz will be joining the Platforms and Services Division (PSD) as Senior Vice President, Online Business Group, reporting to me. Steve succeeds David Cole, who will begin his leave of absence in May.
Most recently, Steve was the CEO of Ask.com, a division of IAC/InterActiveCorp. At Ask, Steve is credited with building the management team that orchestrated the turnaround of Ask.com, grew their user base, increased customer satisfaction, and gained share in the search market over the last year.
Steve is an accomplished senior executive with a rich skill set, including consumer brand building, media, marketing, operations, people management, finance, and technology. He also brings a great blend of start-up and high growth business experiences. Prior to joining Ask, Steve was the President and COO of IDG Books, where he successfully built a consumer brand by expanding the “Dummies” series of books to cover topics ranging from C++ to pet care.
Steve’s management experience, deep functional knowledge of the search and Internet space, and understanding of both the offline and online publishing worlds make him a great choice to lead the Online Business Group. He is a proven leader, and is excited by the opportunity to take the assets we’ve built in MSN and drive our software + services vision forward.
Steve will start this assignment on May 8th. David Cole and I will work together to ensure a smooth transition to Steve.