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Grant Watts returns to Microsoft as lead for global search, display and services in Asia

Grant Watts

Grant Watts

Grant Watts, one of Singapore’s most prominent digital media executives, has returned to the company he left in 2008.

The Australian, who departed SingTel as part of a restructure of the company’s digital marketing operations at the end of last year, has taken a job at Microsoft as Asia lead of the global search, display and services team, Mumbrella can reveal.

His first day in the role will be 3 March – six years after leaving his post as GM of Microsoft’s MSN and Windows Live businesses across Southeast Asia.

Watts’ duties will include driving the Yahoo Bing search alliance in the region. This will involve ensuring that Yahoo is supported in how it sells and services Microsoft’s premium advertisers in Asia. It also involves sales, services and marketing for SME advertisers in Asia, and driving revenue for Bing.

Matt Lydon, general manager of SMB Advertising at Microsoft, said in a statement: “We are thrilled to have Grant back at Microsoft, running our Search business in Asia and Greater China. Grant has tremendous drive and passion for the online advertising business and the impact we can have for our customers and partners.”

“We are now operating the Yahoo Bing Network in India, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and operating Bing in China, Australia, and New Zealand. Grant will play a critical role in the continued growth of Microsoft’s online advertising business in the region,” he said.

Watts has worked at Yahoo!, MSN, EyeCorp and IAB Singapore, of which he was a founding member, in a career that began in the ’90s with outdoor advertising firm Backlite Media.

He is currently a board member of the Mobile Marketing Association Asia Pacific and Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore.

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