New Leader for Microsoft’s APS Group

Microsoft’s advertiser and publisher solutions group has a new leader, with Scott Howe leaving the company and Rik van der Kooi taking his place.

The APS unit comprises Microsoft’s advertiser and publisher platforms and tools.
Howe spent three years with Microsoft, joining as part of the aQuantive acquisition. He’ll depart the company on May 14.
“Over the past few months, Scott and I have had a number of thoughtful conversations about what he wants to do, what’s best for the business and how best to align the two,” said Qi Lu, president of the online services division at Microsoft. “While I am saddened to see him move on, I am nevertheless happy that he has made a decision that is right for him personally as well as for his family.”
His replacement, van der Kooi, has served as chief financial officer at Microsoft’s online services division for the past four years. He’s worked at Microsoft for over a decade.
“Our biggest opportunity for APS is clearly around scaling up our business,” van der Kooi said. “The race for scale is on in this business. We have to make sure we scale faster than the next guy.”
At aQuantive, Howe led the firm’s DrivePM ad network business. Microsoft created APS in the wake of the aQuantive acquisition, with aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews serving as its head and Howe as a top executive. Howe succeeded McAndrews when the latter left Microsoft in late 2008.
Howe said his ambition is to run his own business or start a new one.
“I’ve been in the same role going on 11 years,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been the proverbial assistant football coach who wants to be the head coach. There’s an overriding desire to see if I can do that.”