A blurb about McAfee
R. Preston McAfee, distinguished scientist at Google, is an economist who has worked extensively in pricing, auctions, antitrust, business strategy, market design, computational advertising and machine learning applied to exchanges. He is the author of 130 refereed articles, eleven issued patents and three books. He serves on the boards of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and USA Diving.
McAfee received a B.A. in economics from the University of Florida in 1976, M.S. in mathematics and economics, both in 1978, and Ph.D. in economics in 1980, from Purdue University. He has taught at the University of Western Ontario, the University of Texas, MIT, the University of Chicago, and Caltech, where he was executive officer for the social sciences. After 28 years as a university professor, he joined Yahoo in 2007 as chief economist and VP, moved to Google 2012, and was CVP and chief economist at Microsoft 2014-18, returning to Google in 2020.
Working with colleague John McMillan in the 1980s, McAfee developed research that showed how auctions could be designed to improve government procurement and sales. This theoretical and empirical research was used in the 1994-5 sales of spectrum (radio frequencies) by the FCC, which netted $20B for the government. The auction design that emerged has been used around the world, in the sale of over $100B in spectrum. For this work, McAfee was awarded a Golden Goose award in 2014.
In 1995, McAfee, McMillan and Stanford professors Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson formed a company, Market Design, Inc., that provided auction advice and expertise in many countries. This company has branched out from spectrum to serve other markets, notably electricity.
McAfee has done extensive work in antitrust, and testified in the mergers of Exxon and Mobil, BP and Arco, and Peoplesoft and Oracle. In addition, he testified in the FTC v. Rambus.
In 2006, McAfee finished Introduction to Economic Analysis, a freely available textbook covering both introductory and intermediate microeconomics. He won the Association of Research Libraries' Sparc Innovator award in 2009.