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OpenX gets a Yahoo as CEO; Yahoo demonstrates it 'gets' open source

OpenX is getting yet another Yahooligan as an executive. Yahoo gets open source, but will Microsoft get Yahoo's bug?

OpenX announced Wednesday that it has hired Tim Cadogan, Yahoo's former global ad marketplaces senior vice president. The company also announced that it's making the long move from London to Los Angeles to set up headquarters.

As D: All Things Digital's Kara Swisher reports:

Cadogan, who was with Yahoo for five years, in its search unit and later as SVP for ad products, including playing an important role in the launch of its Panama ad search product. Previously, he was an early member of the team and went to Yahoo just before it acquired Overture.

Cadogan will now run OpenX (which recently changed its name from OpenAds), which makes the leading open-source ad serving software, catering to about 30,000 Web publishers on 100,000 Web sites in more than 100 countries.

I had breakfast recently with Scott Switzer, OpenX's founder, and we talked through the move in headquarters. I had thought they were going to settle in New York to be close to the media, but it appears that OpenX has gone Hollywood instead.

OpenX is one of the industry's most promising open-source start-ups, which perhaps makes it unsurprising that Scott continues to be able to hire such excellent talent. What I find most interesting in the news is Yahoo's continued demonstration that it (or at least its employees) "gets" open source. Tim is quoted as saying, "With open-source software, there is a lot of potential for business disruption and to open up the market."

I think Yahoo and "its children" really believe this.

All of which makes Microsoft's shadow looming over Yahoo all the more intriguing. Microsoft can't remove open source from Yahoo. Perhaps this will give the Microsofties a way to open up without losing face in the market. An acquisition will suddenly have Microsoft stepping all of those precious patents Microsoft has been alleging Linux and other open-source projects violate.

Interesting times.