Microsoft’s Kevin Johnson – Casualty of the Failed Yahoo Deal?

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As Microsoft announced a major reorganization, more particularly the splitting up of its Platforms and Services Division (PSD) into the Windows/Windows Live and Online Services, it also announced the departure of Kevin Johnson as the Division’s President. This might mean just your usual senior management shake-up but for those who have been following the Microsoft-Yahoo merger saga, Mr. Johnson’s exit is a direct casualty of the said failed deal.

Being the PSD’s President, Mr. Johnson was assigned with the difficult task of making Microsoft’s search and online advertising program catch up with Google. Mr. Johnson even aimed at getting 30 percent of the US search queries but failed up to the latest industry search analytics reports of the past several months. Despite being touted as Steve Balmer’s right hand man, Mr. Johson was not spared from getting axed not only because of the failed Yahoo deal but also because of Mr. Johson’s failure to uplift Microsoft’s standing in the online search advertising market.

With Mr. Johnson’s departure and with the split of the PSD units and pending Microsoft’s appointment of a replacement for Mr. Johnson, Steve Ballmer will oversee both the two departments.

Microsoft will be looking for a suitable replacement to Mr. Johnson both from internal and external pool of candidates. In the meantime Senior Vice President Satya Nadella will manage Microsoft’s search, MSN and ad platform programs.

Although it might be an inappropriate timing to let got of a senior management staff, this move might actually do some wonders on Microsoft’s online ad unit. Fortunately for whoever will replace Mr. Johnson, Microsoft’s recently introduced Cashback Search Program has been doing pretty wel. All the person needs to do now is to continue enhancing, marketing and advertising the search product.

Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google,, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building three niche blogs covering iPad News, Google Android Phones and E-Book Readers.
Arnold Zafra
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  • Al

    Kevinjo left because he is a talented executive and talented executives are always in demand. The Yahoo deal fell through because Yahoo’s board let pride get in the way of business. If Microsoft is shooting people because of one misstep Balmer would have been out years ago.