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Vinay Kumar joins Microsoft as head of Bing in APAC

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | February 05, 2013
This is Kumar's second innings at Microsoft; he will drive strategy and business alliances for Bing in the APAC region.

Vinay Kumar, erstwhile CEO of StratosHear, a mobile media company, has joined Microsoft Corporation as the APAC head of strategy and alliances for Bing.com, Microsoft's web search engine. Kumar joined Microsoft in mid January and will be based in Gurgaon.

Vinay Kumar

It is learnt that Kumar's immediate mandate will be to drive Bing's product development in India and APAC markets, eventually driving its advertising revenue in these regions. Bing was unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in May, 2009 and in July 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo announced a deal in which Bing would power Yahoo's Search globally. In 2012, Microsoft rebranded its advertising arm as part of a deeper partnership with search firm Yahoo. According to search marketing experts, Yahoo and Bing together account for around 7 per cent of the search market in India.

Vinay Kumar has over 20 years of industry experience in the internet, mobile, digital media, software and technology industry, in a variety of general management roles in India and USA, with global responsibility. Between StartosHear and Bing, Kumar also had a small stint with e-learning company Liqvid as COO from February to December, 2012.

Between October 2008 and January 2012, as the CEO of StratosHear, Kumar was responsible for driving the mobile ad-platform and a mobile ad network (MobiAdz). Earlier, he was director at Times Internet (2005-07), where he was responsible for driving businesses for portals such as Indiatimes, TimesOfIndia.com and EconomicTimes.com.

The new assignment will be Kumar's second innings at Microsoft as, in the US, he had worked at Microsoft for nearly 10 years (from 1996 to 2005). Kumar worked on MSN, Windows and Internet Explorer in product management and product marketing. He conceptualised and led the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) initiative in 2001 to build long term strategy to expand Microsoft's presence in key emerging nations and secured over $100 million for the initiative.

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