REDMOND, Wash., July 21, 1998 — Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft Corp., today appointed Steven A. Ballmer, formerly executive vice president of sales and support, president of Microsoft. Ballmer's promotion is part of Gates' plan to broaden Microsoft's leadership so the company is well placed to take advantage of the many new growth opportunities ahead. Ballmer's new role will allow Gates more time to focus on Microsoft's long-term vision and product strategy.
In a memo distributed to employees this morning, Gates said, "The majority of my time will be spent with our product groups, devising the technologies and products of the future." He continued, "We can all be incredibly proud of what we've built so far. But the future opportunities will far surpass everything we've achieved to date. I'm more enthusiastic about and committed to Microsoft than I've ever been."
Gates described Ballmer's promotion as a formal recognition of the role he has long played at Microsoft, and said that his responsibilities will include "boosting the business discipline and performance of all our businesses." Gates added that he and Ballmer will jointly concentrate on bringing "renewed focus and energy to Microsoft's working environment, so that we are even more responsive to changing customer needs and new technologies."
Ballmer said, "I am extremely excited about my new role as president, and look forward to partnering with Bill and our management team in the leadership of the company I love. It will be important to build on the work of Bob Herbold, our executive vice president and chief operating officer, who has done a great job of streamlining Microsoft's day-to-day operations, a role he will continue to play. My aim is to delight customers, and to make our existing and future products an even greater success in the marketplace. In this I will be helped by Jeff Raikes, formerly group vice president of sales and marketing, who will now take on an even more central management role as group vice president of sales and support."
Raikes, who will continue to report to Ballmer, is also reshaping his team. Jean-Philippe Courtois, formerly general manager of Microsoft France, will come to Redmond as vice president of worldwide customer marketing, reporting to Raikes. Raikes will now take responsibility for Microsoft's new product support services organization, which is being formed by the merger of enterprise services and Microsoft Technical Support. Kevin Johnson, formerly general manager of enterprise services, is being promoted to vice president of product support services, reporting directly to Raikes.
As part of the corporate reshaping, Herbold; Frank M. (Pete) Higgins, group vice president of interactive media; Paul A. Maritz, group vice president of platforms and applications; and William H. Neukom, senior vice president, law and corporate affairs, will now report to Ballmer. Public relations, which formerly reported to Ballmer, will now report to Herbold; Ballmer's other existing direct reports will continue to report to him. Nathan Myhrvold, chief technology officer, will continue to report to Gates.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
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