Michael leads economics at Microsoft. His Office of the Chief Economist has a team of economists and data scientists; in addition, economists across the company who report into product groups are hired and evaluated with the help of Michael and his team. The Office of the Chief Economist engages primarily in three areas: (1) Demand Forecasting – to optimize capacity planning/supply chain management and to identify top trends, (2) Product Pricing and Discounting (e.g. Azure Services, Surface, Windows) and (3) Market Design – to optimize the effectiveness of marketplaces. The team engages in a variety of other topics such as antitrust issues and zero-carbon energy. The team also helps the Microsoft sales organization engage with governments and our largest customers. Michael drives key topics and themes that need cross-company Economics representation.
Before joining Microsoft, Michael worked at Google for six years in various roles. Most recently he was the Chief Economist for Google Cloud. Prior to that he led the team that built the carpooling marketplace Waze Carpool. Subsequently Michael became the Chief Scientist for Waze. Before his tenure at Google, Michael was the head of the economics research unit at Yahoo! He played a critical role in designing Yahoo! ad marketplaces. His most externally visible project at Yahoo! was developing algorithms for setting optimal reserve prices for search advertising auctions, which had a noticeable impact on overall company earnings. Michael started his professional life as a faculty member at Harvard University’s Economics Department. Michael holds a PhD from Stanford Graduate School of Business and an MS in Physics from the University of California at Davis. He does not have an undergraduate degree.