Chris Ward leaves Microsoft following sabbatical

Chris Ward, commercial director of Microsoft Advertising UK, has left the company, new media age understands.

His departure follows a three-month sabbatical from Microsoft. It’s not known if he has a new job to go to.

Ward, who was responsible for overseeing all ad revenues from media agencies and clients, worked at Microsoft for 13 years.

He joined MSN in November 1996 to set up and run an MSN news site. At Microsoft, he has held roles such as head of content and business development director. In 2002 he was appointed UK commercial director.

In December, Microsoft Advertising overhauled its advertiser and publisher solutions group under Ashley Highfield, who joined from the BBC in November 2008 to become MD and VP of Microsoft Consumer and Online UK. Ward headed the integrated sales platform, which includes ad network Drivepm, ad server Atlas, mobile sales house Screentonic and in-game ad network Massive. He reported directly to Highfield.

Before MSN, Ward worked as a journalist for newspapers such as the Sunday Express, Daily Express, Sunday Times and Daily Mail.

Microsoft was unavailable for comment.

This story first appeared on

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