Microsoft Vet Everson Says It Is About More Than Ads and Collecting ‘Fans’
Carolyn Everson made a big splash when she jumped the Microsoft ship for Facebook in February. She’d only spent nine months in charge of global ad sales at Microsoft before being wooed away by the promise of the social network’s advertising potential. Ms. Everson started her job as Facebook’s VP-global sales a month ago, and this interview with Ad Age is her first in her new role.
As Facebook heads toward 700 million users — including most major brands — it is becoming more and more of a crucial media outlet for advertisers.
Facebook had been seeking a sales leader since Mike Murphy stepped down last fall to be an adviser to Facebook partner Zynga. Microsoft is an investor and longtime ad-sales partner with Facebook, so Ms. Everson had plenty of opportunity to become acquainted with her new boss, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
Microsoft’s initial reaction to Ms. Everson’s sudden departure was anger and a potential lawsuit — Steve Ballmer had hired her himself after a years-long search. Prior to joining Microsoft last year, Ms. Everson was MTV Networks ad sales’ chief operating officer, where she spearheaded a $500 million multi-year advertising deal with Microsoft at the end of 2007. She has also managed web operations for Primedia and Zagat in addition to holding posts in cable TV and Disney. Ms. Everson will work in New York, where she can stay up close and personal with her friends on Madison Avenue. She is in charge of a team that is more than 300 people strong, spread out worldwide and growing daily.