Carolyn Everson, who had served as Microsoft’s global ad sales head for just eight months, is jumping to Facebook to become vp of global sales at the red-hot social networking company.
While an opportunity to run ad sales at Facebook is clearly a massive personal opportunity for Everson, her quick departure is a serious blow to Microsoft. Everson joined the company last June from MTV Networks, where she was evp of strategy and operations for the company’s sales division. She was hired in part to be the traditional media-savvy face of Microsoft to Madison Avenue—which is often suspicious of the software giant’s desire to be a major media company.
During her tenure, Everson visited nearly every Microsoft office across the globe and was just starting to enact plans to change the image of the company’s media and sales groups—which is often still defined by the MSN portal.
Yet Everson had grown frustrated that Microsoft was so fixated on growing Bing that it was neglecting MSN and its major media partners—some of whom have become vocal over the past several months.
Now Microsoft must once again begin a search for a new sales chief. Meanwhile, Everson—who is essentially replacing former Facebook sales leader Mike Murphy—has a chance to fashion the advertising future of one of the largest and fastest growing businesses on the Internet. According to eMarketer, Facebook will see its global ad revenue double in 2011, exceeding $4 billion. Yet given 500 million users and counting, most in the industry believe that Facebook’s vast ad potential has a tremendous upside.
This story was first reported by AllThingsD.com.