The rumors were true: Microsoft has hired away from Yahoo Sean Suchter, Vice President of Yahoo's Search Technology.
Microsoft issued on November 20 the following statement, attributable to Satya Nadella, the Senior Vice President of Search, Portal and Advertising:
“We are very pleased to confirm that Sean Suchter will be joining Microsoft as the GM (General Manager) of our Silicon Valley Search Technology Center, working on Live Search. Sean will report into Harry Shum when he starts work on December 22. We look forward to welcoming him to Microsoft at that time.”
As All Things D's Kara Swisher blogged earlier this week, Suchter was an important contributor to Yahoo's search effort. Suchter described his job on LinkedIn, Swisher noted:
“I run Yahoo’s Web search engine, with overall responsibility for its success. This includes engineering, product responsibility, operational stability, results quality, capex spending and revenue (from the paid inclusion program).”
Hmm. Maybe Microsoft doesn't need to buy Yahoo's search business, after all... especially not if it ends up hiring away more of Yahoo's remaining search talent.