In a surprise announcement, Duane Forrester, a Senior Product Manager at Bing, and the face of Bing’s Webmaster Tools, announced he has been laid off from Microsoft in the company’s latest round of layoffs announced this week.
This is a huge loss to both the webmaster community and Bing, as Duane was the most visible person from Bing Search and he connected very well with the community. He is a frequent speaker at many industry conferences, began writing for Entrepreneur and was recently awarded the Search Personality of the Year award at the US Search Awards earlier this month.
Forrester has been with Bing for nearly four years and many considered him to be the equivalent of Google’s Matt Cutts. He is very active on social media and is always engaging with webmasters both on search related topics and random daily musings.
Yesterday was one of the most emotional days of my life.
I lost my job as my position was eliminated, and I darn near burnt the orange cinnamon rolls I baked! (Props to Pillsbury for making a bad day better though, because damn those rolls were tasty!).
Microsoft announced changes within the structures of several groups in the company. My group was affected, and while I have natural concerns for my own future, I am now faced with saying goodbye to some talented friends and coworkers. It has been a pleasure to work beside, and learn from, these people. They are smart, dedicated and creative…not to mention a barrel of laughs!
I am confident in my own abilities and hopeful for each of those affected by yesterday’s layoffs. It happens. Companies make decisions every day. And while it may seem easy to quarterback things like this from a distance, I can state I feel no enmity. Not an ounce.
With the loss of Forrester, it means that both Google and Bing have lost their most visible personalities at each company for webmasters, although Cutts leave is temporary. It is unclear how Bing Webmaster Tools will be affected by Forrester’s departure or whether other team members are leaving as well.
It is surprising that Microsoft would decide to layoff someone who has worked so hard in the community, both assisting webmasters and promoting Bing products. It is a huge loss to Bing.
If you are looking to bring an amazing guy (and fellow Canadian!) onto your team, Duane is open to his next opportunity in the industry. You can touch base with him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.
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