Microsoft recruits staff for new European sales team

Microsoft has recruited staff from Carat and Advertising.com to join a European sales team that will target advertisers by market sectors including cars, travel, entertainment, FMCG and telecoms.

Michael Steckler, who was promoted to EMEA planning and development director from his role as MSN UK head of sales in August, will lead the team.

The team will also control sales strategy for ad opportunities across the Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions network, which includes MSN.com, Windows Live, Office Online and Xbox Live.

It will also be responsible for promoting the new Microsoft Direct Response offering. Microsoft has hired James Rothwell, previously publisher services director at Advertising.com International, to head the direct response offer across the EMEA region.

Microsoft has also hired Carat Digital group account director Dina Gower to lead the entertainment, media and FMCG category. Gower previously worked at the Financial Times as B2B marketing manager and also in digital media at Grey and Lowe in New York.

The technology and telcos market will be the responsibility of Alexandra Thomson, who has joined from The Economist where she looked after international clients. She previously worked for Associated Media and Clear Channel International.

Richard Trinder will look after autos and travel and is already a member of the EMEA team.

Windows Live Services, which includes MSN Hotmail and MSN Messenger, will be headed by Dan Dixon.

Team leader Steckler will hire a product specialist to manage content and sponsorship opportunities across MSN in Europe.

Marc Bresseel, regional sales director, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions EMEA said: "By introducing a category development team to Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, we aim to provide our customers with first class digital consultancy whilst driving category leadership innovation."

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