Alexander Gounares, Corporate Vice President of Advertising Research and Development for Microsoft, is no longer in charge of engineering for Microsoft's digital advertising products.
In response to my query, a Microsoft spokesperson sent on October 1 a confirmation and explanation of what Gounares will be doing:
“Alex Gounares is transitioning to a new role becoming the CTO for the Online Services Division, reporting to Satya Nadella. Alex is looking forward to taking some well-earned parental leave, before returning to play a pivotal role by driving cross-cutting strategy and future-thinking for the entire division.”
I've asked how long Gounares will be gone and who will be taking his place. No word back yet on either of those questions.
Update: Rajat Taneja will become the CVP of Program Management for Ad Platform. The spokesperson added: "Rajat’s charter will include partnering very closely with Scott Howe and the business team to ensure tight connection between our business strategy and technology roadmap and delivery." Meanwhile, Don Gagne will be promoted to CVP of Development for Ad Platform. "Prior to OSD R&D in the search team a few months ago, Don led Office engineering," the spokesperson added.
Gounares is taking a four-week leave, the spokesperson also said.
Gounares' next boss will be Nadella, who is the Senior Vice President for Research and Development with Mcirosoft's Online Services Division. Nadella leads engineering for Bing, MSN and Microsoft's advertising platforms.
Gounares has been with Microsoft since 1993, and spent three years during his career as the technology assistant to Chairman Bill Gates. Prior to heading ad research and development, he was Corporate Vice President for Corporate Strategy. He also, at one point, was responsible for leading the creation of the original Microsoft Tablet PC platform. This past summer, he was one of 40-plus individual appointed to head up the review of ThinkWeek papers inside Microsoft
Products like Microsoft adCenter are central to Microsoft's push to try to attract advertisers who want to run ads across Microsoft's Bing search, video, gaming and mobile platforms.