Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) hired Mark Penn to serve as corporate vice president for strategic and special projects. He will directly report to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Penn is the former campaign strategist during the presidential candidacy of U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and he also served as chief adviser of former President, Bill Clinton, during the 1996 presidential election. He is the worldwide CEO of Burson Masteller, a public relations firm and CEO of Penn, Schoen, Berland Associates; a polling firm.
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Penn also served as a strategic consultant for Fortune 500 companies including Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK). Since 1998, he has been providing strategic advice to Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and to Steve Ballmer.
Based on Microsoft’s press statement, the company will rely on Penn’s public relations experience, and creativity to gain more consumers, who will patronize its new tablet called Surface powered by Windows 8, its latest operating system.
In addition to the Surface tablet and Windows 8, Microsoft will also release its updated Office Software Suite with social and cloud computing features, and the SharePoint 2013.
In a statement, Steve Ballmer is certain that Penn will be able to help the company achieved its goals. He said, “Mark has an incredible background in research, demographics, marketing, and positioning and a proven history in developing unique insights that drive success. With a strong set of products and exciting pipeline for the next year, Mark’s experience and out-of-the-box thinking will help us more effectively reach new consumers and grow market share.”
Furthermore, Ballmer said that Penn’s primary responsibility is to supervise Microsoft’s Strategic and Special Projects division, focusing on key consumer initiatives. He will manage a cross-functional team responsible for developing strategies and innovative ideas for branding and market positioning, to meet the changing and dynamic needs of consumers.
Penn expressed enthusiasm in his new position and readiness to use his experience to meet the company’s expectations from him. He said, “I’m looking forward to applying my diverse skills and experience to some of the biggest new challenges in technology today, and there is no better place to do that than Microsoft.”