Microsoft VP Jumps Ship
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Microsoft's Network Solutions Group VP Thomas U. Koll announced plans to leave Microsoft to join Canadian wireless ASP Infowave Software (TSE: IW) as CEO.
Koll is currently responsible for Microsoft's worldwide business with telecommunication companies in the wireline and wireless markets, network equipment providers and ISPs. Koll has been instrumental in developing Microsoft's vision for mobility and initiated their wireless strategy.
"Thomas is a world-class business leader with a deep understanding and insight into the wireless market in both North America and Europe," said Morgan Sturdy, chairman of Infowave. "His global business expertise, strong industry contacts and sales focus position Thomas as an ideal choice to guide Infowave as it further establishes leadership in delivering wireless solutions to businesses. Thomas is a respected industry executive who has recognized the enormous market potential of Infowave and will bring a sharply focused business strategy to drive revenue growth."
Infowave builds wireless business solutions that connect mobile workers to critical business information. Infowave's Wireless Business Engine provides fast, secure and reliable wireless access to web-based applications, the Internet, corporate intranets and Microsoft Exchange. Infowave's Wireless Business Engine is in use by such companies as Compaq, Intel, Nokia and AT&T Wireless.
"Infowave is incredibly well-positioned to exploit their technology leadership position in the wireless software and services space and emerge as one of the clear market leaders," Koll said. "Joining Infowave is an extraordinary opportunity and I will leverage the experience and contacts I've made throughout my tenure at Microsoft to help make Infowave the premier provider of wireless business solutions. I look forward to working with Infowave's management team to crystallize our vision, expand our business opportunities and deliver the highest value to our customers and shareholders."
In addition to his appointment, Koll will purchase 200,000 common shares of Infowave. For each share purchased, Koll will receive a warrant to purchase an additional share of Infowave for a term of three years. Koll will also join Infowave's Board of Directors. His appointment as CEO is effective February 15, 2001.
"Thomas' decision to join Infowave and to make a substantial personal investment is a clear illustration of both his commitment and the strength of Infowave and its technology," Mr. Sturdy added.
Prior to Koll's current position at Microsoft, he was general manager of the Dedicated System Group and also served as general manager of Microsoft's worldwide business planning and strategy. Koll joined Microsoft in 1988 and transferred to Redmond, Washington in 1997 from Microsoft Germany where he was the acting country manager.