Yahoo Names Irving As Chief Product Officer

Blake Irving

Yahoo Monday confirmed hiring ex-Microsoft exec Blake Irving as chief product officer. He will report directly to CEO Carol Bartz and be responsible for the vision and strategy behind the company's global consumer and advertiser product portfolio.

Irving will replace Ari Balogh, Yahoo's current head of technology and products, who said earlier this month he would leave the company for personal reasons June 3. Irving, who most recently taught at Graziadio School of Business and Management in Malibu, Calif., joins Yahoo May 17.

Separately, Yahoo said Prabhakar Raghavan will continue to lead Yahoo Labs as chief scientist and report directly to Bartz. The two executives will be tasked with speeding up innovation and product development at Yahoo. "With leaders like Blake and Prabhakar, I am confident that we will increase technological innovation and deliver against our vision to be the center of people's online lives."

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At Microsoft, Irving led development of the Windows Live Platform, overseeing a team of 4,000 employees in building the company's set of Internet services and software products. He has held a variety of development and general management positions at Microsoft and previously worked at technology companies, including Xerox Corp., Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd. and Compaq Computer Corp.

"I look forward to working with the team to bring forward more unique and highly personal experiences to Yahoo consumers, deliver on the company's promise of science, art and scale to Yahoo advertisers, and develop the amazing talent at the company so we may continue to deliver more and faster innovations to the market," he stated.

During her time as chief executive, Bartz has restructured management to help streamline decision-making and accelerate product development at the Web portal, which had become known for its bureaucratic corporate culture. Oversight of technology and products had been combined under Balogh, but those duties appear to be split again, now between Irving and Raghavan. Neither has inherited Balogh's title of chief technology officer.

Yahoo will report first-quarter earnings Tuesday.

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