AOL is taking over Microsoft’s ad sales business

June 29, 2015, 9:51 PM UTC
AOL offices on February 7, 2011 in Palo Alto City.
Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been on a tear recently, aggressively culling businesses that don’t jibe with his vision for the tech giant. His latest move? Shaking off the company’s advertising business.

AOL is taking over Microsoft’s ad sales business, which consists of 1,200 employees, the Wall Street Journal reports. All affected Microsoft employees will get the chance to join AOL, per the Journal.

Microsoft isn’t exiting the ad business entirely. It still has a stake in the game through ads on its search engine, Bing. As part of the deal, Bing will supplant Google as the default search engine on AOL properties for the next decade.

“We believe in the advertising model, and we care deeply about those services that are monetized through ads,” Microsoft Vice President for Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Rik van der Kooi told the Journal. “But if you look at trends in the industry, it makes complete sense for us to line up with AOL.”

AOL was recently acquired by Verizon for $4.4 billion (VZ). As Fortune staff writer Erin Griffith quickly pointed out when the Verizon-AOL deal was first announced, AOL is now much more of an ad business than it is a content business.

For more on Satya Nadella’s strategy, read this Q&A with him conducted by Fortune writer Barb Darrow.

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