Microsoft has hired Preston McAfee, former director of Google strategic technologies (2012 to 2014), as chief economist who will be responsible for leading a team of economists working closely with the company’s Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood. McAfee was also a chief economist at Yahoo for five years (2007 to 2012).
McAfee will report directly to Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Technology and Research, at Microsoft, and will also be working closely with business and engineering groups across the company on developing new business models and metrics, designing marketplaces for advertising and apps, assisting with government relations and policy, and developing an economic strategy for the company.
“This isn’t the first time Preston will be a chief economist. For five years, from 2007 to 2012, Preston was chief economist and research fellow for our search partner, Yahoo!, where he captured our attention by building a great team that became well known for doing interesting research while ensuring it was impacting current products,” Microsoft stated in an official blog post.
Aside from having worked at Google and Yahoo, McAfee has impressive academic credentials too. Hiring McAfee is part of Microsoft’s plan to create a data-driven culture, exploring creative and diverse strategies to create greater value for customers.