RealTime IT News

New Chief at Microsoft

Microsoft Wednesday experienced top-level management changes as Chief Operating Officer Bob Herbold, 58, retired and Rick Belluzzo, 47, was promoted to president and COO.

Herbold intends to stay with Microsoft on a part-time basis, representing the company in industry, government and customer activities, noted Steve Ballmer, CEO.

Prior to joining Microsoft in September 1999, Belluzzo was CEO of Silicon Graphics Inc. He had previously been the executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard Co., where he was responsibility for HP's printer, personal computer, and computer systems and services businesses.

Since joining Microsoft, Belluzzo's team worked to make MSN the most visited Web site on the Net and was additionally involved with the creation of the company's Xbox video game, the Ultimate TV service and the .NET services division. He also has been influential in the development of next-generation wireless technologies.

In his new position, Belluzzo intends to guide the company's business strategy and direct business operations, sales, marketing and business development, as well as Microsoft's emerging non-PC businesses.

"Microsoft is very well positioned for growth," he said. "We've got an incredible year of new product and service launches ahead of us, and we're investing in next-generation technologies.

"I'm excited about working even more closely with my colleagues on the senior leadership team to fine-tune our business processes and drive growth opportunities in our core businesses and in emerging technologies and services," he said.

Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, lauded the management changes. "Bob's steady hand and strong management skills over the past seven years have played a big part in Microsoft becoming a stronger, more mature and more cost-effective company," he said. "We have been fortunate to have such a strong senior management team, and Rick's proven management style will be a big plus in the years ahead.''

In related news, Deborah Willingham, 44, was promoted to senior vice president for Human Resources, and John Connors, senior vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer, assumes responsibility for Microsoft's Information Technology Group and for manufacturing/licensing operations in addition to his existing responsibilities.