Blog Post

Microsoft Hires Former AOL CTO Cahall To Oversee MSN

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is shuffling the top management of its MSN portal, six months after rolling out a major redesign of the site. The company has hired Ted Cahall, who left his post as CTO of AOL (NYSE: AOL) in January, as its new corporate vice president of MSN.

Cahall had joined AOL three-and-a-half years ago from United Online’s, where he was chief operating officer. He initially headed up what was then the company’s platforms unit, which included AOL Search and MapQuest, and later got additional responsibility for the company’s technology infrastructure. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong promoted him to CTO a year ago.

At MSN, Cahall is replacing Erik Jorgensen, who was previously responsible for “the engineering, editorial, content strategy and media efforts for MSN worldwide.” Jorgensen will now oversee mobile and mapping for Microsoft’s Bing search engine — a move Microsoft says it is making because of “Bing’s increased investment” in those two areas.

Microsoft’s online services division has also hired Marc Davis, the former chief scientist for mobile at Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), as a partner architect. Davis left Yahoo a year ago. At Microsoft, Davis will work with SVP Satya Nadella, who oversees engineering across Bing, MSN and Microsoft’s online advertiser groups, “on vision and technology strategy.”

In a statement provided to us, Microsoft says all of the changes are designed “to align the Online Services Division’s engineering leadership team to capitalize on key opportunities for MSN and Bing.” Kara Swisher at AllThingsD has the internal memo, which essentially says the same thing but with many more words.

Sidenote: In May, AOL hired Alex Gounares, the CTO of Microsoft’s online services division, to fill the position left vacant by Cahall’s departure, so these two companies are, in a way, trading top engineering executives.