As it promised, Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) has moved very quickly to replace CTO and EVP of products Ari Balogh, who said earlier this month that he was leaving for “personal reasons.” The company says Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) veteran Blake Irving will be its new chief product officer. Irving had been a long-time executive at Microsoft, who — among other roles — led the back-end of its Windows Live platform, but “retired” three years ago, shortly before a major reorganization of Microsoft’s online operations. He’s worked since as a professor at Pepperdine’s business school.
In a release, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz cites Irving’s “large scale internet expertise from a mature company” as driving his hiring and says his focus will include “speeding key inputs and decision making into product strategy and direction.” Irving delivers his own accolades to Yahoo in a blog post here. Related to the hiring, Yahoo says Chief Scientist Prabhakar Raghavan will now report directly to Bartz.
The speed at which Yahoo has filled Balogh’s position provides a contrast to how it has handled some of its other senior executive vacancies. Sales chief Joanne Bradford left in mid-March but the company has said it expects the search for her replacement to take a “couple of months,” while it called off this fall a more than seven-month long search for someone to lead its international operations, saying it was unable to find “anyone who was up to our needs.”