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Microsoft Advertising team completes AOL transition but Andy Hart and Owen Sagness don’t make the switch

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By Seb Joseph | News editor

August 7, 2015 | 3 min read

The transition of Microsoft’s advertising business over to AOL has been completed though its top executives Andy Hart and Owen Sagness have not joined what is now a restructured, integrated commercial offering of the two businesses.

The move was completed this week after AOL agreed to take responsibility for sales of display, mobile and video as on Microsoft’s properties in nine markets including the UK and US. The Drum understands that an email was sent out earlier this afternoon informing AOL’s team of the new and expanded roles, which do not include Hart and Sagness, who were view president for online and advertising in Europe and general manager for the business respectively.

Hart has left Microsoft Advertising, according to a source close to the matter, while it is not yet known what Sangess has decided to do. A Microsoft spokeswoman said: “Andy Hart (VP, Advertising and Online, Microsoft Europe) has decided his next challenge lies outside Microsoft. We thank him for his contribution and wish him well for the future.

“Following the announcement that Microsoft has expanded its partnership with AOL, Owen Sagness (General Manager, Advertising and Online, Microsoft UK) will not be transferring to AOL. We will work with Owen to find his next challenge.”

Stuart Flint, who joined Microsoft Advertising last year from Yahoo, takes on the role cf commercial director for AOL UK.

Flint’s arrival sees the company’s previous commercial chief Tom Hokings head up its vertical solutions and creative solutions as director direct sales and creative solutions just months after his arrival. He is tasked with building out AOLs Partner Studios, which aims to bring together all the best elements of AOL’s advertising offering for big, high-impact campaigns. Additionally, Hoskings will oversee of vertical selling across Finance, Autos, Entertainment, FMCG, Tech, Telcos and Retail.

Elsewhere, AOL veteran Lucy Morgan will now oversee operations across the newly combined UK sales business.

Hamish Nicklin will head up the expanded business through his current role as AOL UK’s managing director He joined in March from Google where he director of agency sales in the UK

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