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Yahoo names chief number-cruncher

Former data-mining CEO will oversee all that user data the Web portal giant collects as surfers pass through.

Web portal Yahoo on Monday appointed Usama Fayyad as its chief data officer and senior vice president of the strategic data solutions group. Fayyad will oversee the wide range of data the company collects on its users' habits and behaviors. This type of data is usually used to better target advertising and to sketch anonymous profiles of its users for analysis.

Fayyad co-founded DMX Group, a data mining company, and before that served as the CEO of DigiMine, also a data collection and analysis company. Previous stints included five years conducting data research in Microsoft's server division, as well as a term at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on scientific databases.