Here’s the email Ballmer sent to all Microsoft staff forty minutes ago:
From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:39 PM
To: Microsoft – All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: New Leader of Online Services Group
Search, advertising and online services are critical to Microsoft’s long-term strategy. To succeed, we need the right talent. Today, I’m pleased to announce that Qi Lu will join Microsoft as president of our Online Services Group. Qi will oversee all efforts in search, our online advertising platform, and all of our online information and communications services. Qi will join Microsoft on Jan. 5 and report to me.
Qi is one of the most respected technical minds in the industry. He comes to Microsoft after 10 years at Yahoo, where he most recently served as executive vice president of engineering for all of Yahoo’s search and advertising development efforts. Before joining Yahoo, Qi was a researcher at IBM’s Almaden Research Center. He has a doctorate in computer science from Carnegie Mellon, and he holds 20 U.S. patents.
Qi’s combination of deep technical expertise, proven leadership capability and broad business knowledge is rare in our industry. There is no one better qualified to guide our work to reinvent search and online advertising.
While I’m excited that Qi is joining Microsoft, I’m sorry to share the news that Brian McAndrews has decided to transition out of the company. Brian came to us with the acquisition of aQuantive in 2007. Since then, he has helped build a world-class business in online advertising that provides a solid foundation for future growth. I have great respect for the important contributions Brian has made to Microsoft, and I wish him the very best in the future.
On Monday at 4 p.m. Pacific Time, Qi will join me at Café RedWest for an Employee Town Hall. I encourage you to attend or to watch the webcast. If you have questions for Qi or me, please send them in advance to and we’ll try to answer as many as possible.