In the latest reorg of its Search unit, which Microsoft announced internally to its troops on November 9, Microsoft has appointed Harry Shum to take over management of the Core Search engineering team.
Shum will replace General Manager of Microsoft Search Ken Moss. Moss has held the lead core-search manager's job for more than five years. Moss is taking a sabbatical, from which, according to Microsoft, Moss will return. (A substantial number of other Microsoft managers who've taken sabbaticals have not returned to the company.)
Shum most recently was the Corporate Vice President in charge of Microsoft Research Asia. In that role, he was charged with driving Microsoft's long- and short-term technology investments in search and advertising. Shum joined Microsoft Research in 1996 and worked in Redmond as a computer vision and graphics researcher. In 1999, he moved to Beijing to help start Microsoft Research China (later renamed Microsoft Research Asia).
As a result of the latest move, Corporate Vice President of Search and Advertising Satya Nadella's core direct reports now include Shum, General Manager of Test Todd Paul and Vice President of Program Management Brian MacDonald.
A Microsoft spokesman confirmed on November 9 the details of the company's latest Search management moves.
Microsoft has tweaked its Search organization repeatedly in the past year, in moves that some have characterized as house cleaning, and others, as growing pains. The company has remained a distant third, behind Google and Yahoo, in overall search-query share.
In March, Microsoft created a new Search and Advertising Group and appointed Dynamics ERP veteran Satya Nadella to run the new unit. As part of that move, Microsoft severed Live Search from the rest of its Windows Live services, which remain under the domain of Senior Vice President Steven Sinofsky. That same month, Windows Live Platform VP Blake Irving resigned, as did Chris Payne. the Corporate Vice President in charge of Windows Live Search.
Microsoft bought online-advertising leader aQuantive in May and appointed former aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews to head up a new Advertiser and Publisher Solutions (APS) Group.
In between all the shuffling, Microsoft has rolled out its fall Live Search refresh and is prepping for a spring 2008 one.