Microsoft restructures ad sales following aQuantive deal

Microsoft has formed a new business group dedicated to online advertisers, following the completion of its $6bn (£2.98m) acquisition of US online advertising firm aQuantive.

It has appointed Brian McAndrews, the former chief executive of aQuantive, to lead the new advertiser and publisher solutions group.

The group is responsible for advertising platforms including Atlas, Drivepm, MSNDR and Microsoft AdCenter, as well as emerging media such as in-game and mobile ads, and the agency arm Avenue A/Razorfish.

As part of the restructure, most of Microsoft's advertising services will move out of the control of Steve Berkowitz, who will now oversee only the content side of the business. His online services group includes the MSN portal, Windows Live services and Live Search. The Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions sales force will continue to be part of this group.

Other aQuantive executives have also been found positions at Microsoft. Mike Galgon, a co-founder of aQuantive, has been appointed chief advertising strategist and will report to McAndrews.

Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's former chief advertising strategist, moves to the newly formed position of senior vice-president in charge of strategic partnerships for the platforms and services division.

The $6bn acquisition of aQuantive was cleared by regulators last month, while Google's $3.1bn purchase of DoubleClick is still under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission.

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