Former Yahoo Scientist Heads To Microsoft

Leaves Amazon's A9.com behind, too

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It looks like Microsoft has won another round of the hiring game.  Jan O. Pedersen, who used to work for Yahoo and was more recently employed by Amazon subsidiary A9.com, has joined Steve Ballmer’s Redmond-based corporation as chief scientist of Live Search.

Pedersen’s got quite a bit of experience in the search field.  After getting a BA in statistics from Princeton and a Ph.D. in the same subject from Stanford, he served as a director of search at Infoseek, then moved on to AltaVista.  From there, the Yahoo and A9.com entries got added to his resume.

Jan O. Pedersen 

What’s interesting is that, at every one of those last three companies, Pedersen held some variation of the title "chief scientist."  So by moving to Microsoft, he doesn’t appear to be getting a much of a promotion, and might instead just be seeking to back a winner.

Anyway, a Microsoft spokesperson described Pedersen’s probably-familiar job duties to Joseph Tartakoff by stating that he’ll "work with the search leadership team on overall strategy, product development and technology roadmap."

Bookies should start taking bets as to whether or not Pedersen will wind up at Google within the next three years.

Former Yahoo Scientist Heads To Microsoft
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  • http://www.acnecaretruth.com Rick

    It looks like a lot of talent is leaving Yahoo. It should be interesting to see what happens at Yahoo in the next year or so.

    They may still be shopping around for a buyer.

    • Guest

      fair point, but doesn’t apply her: “…used to work for Yahoo and was more recently employed by Amazon subsidiary A9.com.”

  • ramasyean

    If you can’t eliminate them quickly…chip away at them piece by piece until they can’t sustain themselves. -The Art of Search War.

  • http://www.Nurburg.eu FaTe

    And what exactly stops him from Jumping ship again…and again…and again…OH WAIT he already does that.

    Whoopee he moved to Microsoft how about when he stays with a company for a prolonged period of time you do another news post!

  • http://www.mapscapital.com andre szykier

    The future of web search, as a commodity, leads me to suspect that those with the biggest and most crawler IT will eventually end up as a search result brokers. Then a new class of search ‘enhancers’ should appear. These vendors will apply the concept of “semantic search”, creating ontologies and information hierarchies that intelligently mine the results through vertical knowledge silos.

    At the end, it could be a problem to Google bacause the AdSense model would no longer work. Yahoo is already feeling it. Microsoft should be able to eventually figure out the semantic space.

    If the industry ends up using Google as the retrieval and indexing engine, then it follows that there will be an integration with the semantic search partners who create taxonomies in their various niches.

    The model could work either way:
    1. Google provides semantic partners with an API in a push/pull data model, or

    2. S-emantic solution providers will create taxonomies that Google will be forced to integrate as search engine add-ons.

    The question will be, who controls the relationship with the end user because, that’s where money is derived. Lee’s semantic web is about to get a big jolt of electricity!

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