Last night I was hanging around at the Ritz near my house. That’s where Jerry Yang, CEO of Yahoo spoke yesterday, and where the Right Media conference is going on right now.
I talked with several people who didn’t want to go on the record, but who are executives at Microsoft’s competitors. They told me to “watch out for Brian McAndrews, former CEO of aQuantive.”
That’s the company that sold recently to Microsoft for a very large sum of money (around $6 billion).
They say he now is working for Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft and is expected to make major moves on Microsoft’s behalf to get Microsoft a major position into the advertising industry.
So, what’s the rumor this morning? Microsoft wins the Facebook bid.
If this is all true, then Steve Ballmer’s promise to buy 50 companies in the advertising and Web 2.0 spaces in the next year is off to a roaring start.
Since I don’t think Steve Ballmer understands the advertising world, it sure looks like someone else is behind this move. I’d love to interview Brian McAndrews.
UPDATE: if this rumor is true, it means big revenues for Facebook. Microsoft has a world-class advertising sales team. I bet they could promise more revenues than Google could, particularly because Microsoft’s sales team is much more focused on banner advertising than Google’s team is.
UPDATE2: Microsoft’s Hank Vigil was in Palo Alto yesterday, so maybe he’s behind this. Me?