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Yahoo! confirmed yesterday that ex-Microsoft man Blake Irving will take on the role of chief product officer and report directly to the company’s boss, Carol Bartz.

He will team up with Yahoo!’s top scientist, Prabhakar Raghavan, to lead “innovation efforts” at the firm, it said.

As previously reported, Irving will replace Ari Balogh, Yahoo’s current head of products and technology. He will leave the company on 3 June for “personal reasons”.

Irving, a 15-year Microsoft veteran who most recently held the post of Windows Live veep before quitting in 2007, will take on his new role on 17 May, said Yahoo!

"I look forward to working with the team to bring forward more unique and highly personal experiences to Yahoo! consumers, deliver on the company's promise of Science, Art and Scale to Yahoo! advertisers, and develop the amazing talent at the company so we may continue to deliver more and faster innovations to the market," said Irving.

He will take charge of the company’s products organisation, which covers the business strategy, design and development of Yahoo!’s global advertiser product portfolio. ®

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