Microsoft Ad Chief Wilk Steps Down, Sainsbury-Carter Steps In

Rob Wilk, corporate vice president and global head of Microsoft Advertising, announced in a LinkedIn post on Thursday he would step down. Kya Sainsbury-Carter, the first female to move into this position, will replace him. 

“I am truly excited to hand the baton to Kya Sainsbury-Carter who will lead the MSA team from here,” Wilk wrote in a post. “She is someone I have respected and admired for many years."

The announcement was made Thursday, on International Women's Day.

“Rob is someone who 'got it,'" said Matthew Mierzejewski, SVP, Search Capability Lead at Merkle. "He knew what was important. He built a team that focused on serving clients. He partnered with them. The rest fell into place as a result. He will be missed, but I’m sure these fundamentals will be passed on and remain under Kya’s leadership.”



Sainsbury-Carter moves into the position from Microsoft vice president, global partner and retail media sales. 

“I am both honored and humbled to step into the role as leader of Microsoft Advertising,” wrote Sainsbury-Carter in a LinkedIn post.

Sainsbury-Carter has strong experience in retail media. She has spent nearly 17 years at Microsoft working in retail, search integration, U.S. ad sales strategy and operations, U.S. account services, performance services, and more.

Wilk replaced Rik Van Der Kooi in December 2021. At the time, Wilk was head of Microsoft Advertising’s Strategic Sales team. He led the team for more than six years.

Wilk has more than 25 years of advertising and media experience, focusing on digital media and paid search with agencies and publishers.

“This is one of the toughest posts I have ever made on LinkedIn,” Wilk wrote in the post. “I have made the decision to leave Microsoft to take the next step in my career.”

Wilk teased his future at the end of the post by writing that there will be more to come with regard to his next role in a few weeks.

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