Onetime Microsoft exec Blake Irving joins Yahoo

Irving, who worked at Microsoft from 1992 to 2007, is joining Yahoo as its new chief product officer.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Onetime Microsoft executive Blake Irving will take on the role of Yahoo's chief product officer, his new company said Monday.

Blake Irving
Blake Irving Microsoft

Irving, who will start May 17 and report directly to CEO Carol Bartz, is replacing Ari Balogh, who has been chief technology officer and executive vice president of products for the past two years. According to Yahoo, Balogh is leaving his position for personal reasons but will stay until June 3 to help with the transition. Irving most recently was teaching at Pepperdine University's business school.

Yahoo has been wooing Irving to join the company. In his new job, Irving has been tapped to create a new strategy and direction for Yahoo's global portfolio of products.

"Blake brings to Yahoo genuine large scale Internet expertise from a mature company known for world-class technology," Bartz said in a statement.

Irving joined Microsoft in 1992 and stayed for 15 years. At Microsoft, Irving and his teams were responsible for Microsoft's first Internet video conference and collaboration tools, Internet phone, Web-based e-mail client, and instant messaging and blogging service, according to the Microsoft press release that announced his departure three years ago. Irving also filled development and marketing roles with the Internet Explorer and Windows teams.

Before leaving Microsoft, Irving was corporate vice president of the Windows Live Platform group, where he oversaw data center and technical operations. He was credited by Microsoft for creating a global Windows Live platform.

"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," Irving said in a statement.

In related news, Yahoo Labs Chief Scientist Prabhakar Raghavan will receive a bump in status. He will now report directly to Bartz. Raghavan, who joined the company in 2005, heads Yahoo Labs where he handles research into text and Web mining and algorithm design.