Monday, December 11, 2006

Microsoft's new online chief challenges a technology-first culture

Microsoft's new online chief challenges a technology-first culture - Business - International Herald Tribune: "Microsoft lost its way, Berkowitz said, because it became too enamored with software wizardry, like its new 3D map service, and failed to make a search engine people liked to use.

Daniel Rosensweig, the chief operating officer of Yahoo, announced he would leave the company amid increasing calls for the replacement of his boss, Terry Semel. Last month, Time Warner suddenly fired Jonathan Miller, chief executive of AOL, who was succeeded by Randy Falco, an NBC executive.

In April, David Cole, the quiet engineer who was the senior vice president in charge of Microsoft's online division, said he would take a sabbatical. And his top lieutenant, Yusuf Mehdi, was moved to a strategic planning position. They were replaced by Berkowitz, an outsider to the byzantine ways of Microsoft.

Berkowitz, a no-nonsense executive who once helped build IDG's "For Dummies" book series, takes his hiring as a license to gore a few of Microsoft's sacred cows."

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