DETROIT - Chrysler Group vp of product strategy Jeff Bell, who trail-blazed auto marketing via new media, gaming and the internet, is set to leave the company, according to a spokeswoman.

Bell (44), one of America's highest profile auto marketing executives, will join Microsoft, according to insiders. Currently on vacation with his family in Europe, he declined to comment.

However, in an email to Advertising Age, he declared himself "the happiest I have ever been in my life".