Microsoft Completes aQuantive Acquisition

Microsoft has completed the acquisition of aQuantive, and has created a new Advertiser and Publisher Solutions (APS) Group to fit it in.

According to the release, “This new business group will be responsible for building Microsoft’s monetization engine to serve the advertiser and publisher community.”

The APS team will have responsibility for building and marketing all ad platforms, including Atlas, DRIVEpm, MSNDR and Microsoft AdCenter. It will also house other media types, like in-game and mobile ads, and the agency arm Avenue A | Razorfish.

The APS group will be run by Brian McAndrews, CEO of aQuantive, who will report directly to Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft’s Platforms & Services Division (PSD). That makes three groups housed under Johnson in the PSD:

  • The Online Services Group, led by Steve Berkowitz, is responsible for Microsoft’s “audience” business, including the portal, Windows Live services and Live Search. The Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions sales force lives here.
  • The Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group, led by Brian McAndrews, is responsible for building the monetization engine to serve the advertising and publishing community.
  • The Search & Advertising Platform Group, led by Satya Nadella, is focused on building search technologies and the advertising platform to support Microsoft’s business and customer goals.

Yusuf Mehdi, who was named chief advertising strategist and head of the Online Business Group last year, will take on the newly formed role in PSD of senior vice president, Strategic Partnerships, where he will be focused on overseeing international mergers, acquisitions and partnerships; managing strategic accounts; and forging relationships with early stage startups and venture capital firms. Mike Galgon, an aQuantive co-founder, has been named chief advertising strategist and will report to McAndrews.

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