No. 901
January 16th, 2011

Mikko Ollila Moves on from Bing Local

SMB’s and SEO’s alike lost a great advocate at Bing Local Friday — Product Manager Mikko Ollila has left Bing to take on a product marketing position at Atlas Accelerator.  I feel much the same as I did when I found out that MapsGuideJen was leaving Google a couple of years ago.

Mikko has been a terrific presenter at our Local University series, where he’s walked business owners through the process of claiming their listings at Bing Local and answered concerns about privacy, listing verification, and merging/duplication issues.  Not only that, but he’s been much more forthcoming with respect to Bing’s Local strategy and areas he knows need to be improved (such as Bing’s postal verification system) than most of the other Local search engine reps I’ve spoken to.  And that openness and directness has only improved the perception of Bing Local in the SMB and SEO communities.

Bing Local has made incredible strides under his leadership, notably streamlining its verification process (described most recently by Matt McGee as “real simple–as it should be“) and adding the ability to verify via phone.

I am sure they have several things in the pipeline that he’s worked long hours on…not to make this sound like a eulogy, but he won’t be around to receive credit for those efforts, and I think it’s important that we remember his contributions when Bing does announce new features over the course of the next few months.

On a personal level, he has been a good friend to those of us on the Local U faculty and we always enjoyed our dinners, lunches, and happy hours with him.

I asked Mikko if he wanted to contribute a quick blurb to let the community know what he was going to be up to–here it is:

“Working as director of product marketing at Atlas Accelerator, I’ll be helping a number of Seattle area start-ups with their marketing and sales efforts. As these companies expand, they will face numerous challenges such as market testing, product development, and promotions and communications. As an online marketing and product professional, I’m excited to tackle these challenges, learn a bunch along the way, and have fun doing it.”

If you’d like to connect with him on LinkedIn, here is his profile.

Mikko, you will be missed by the Local Search community!  Good luck with your new job.