Feeds

Microsoft hires Disney man for consumer crusade

Corporate mission: to be less stodgy

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Microsoft has raided the Walt Disney Corporation to fill a position tasked with flogging Windows 8 to consumers buying PCs and tablets next year.

The company appointed former Disney director of brand strategy Jay Victor as its own director of brand strategy, working in Microsoft's Central Marketing Group (CMG). Victor has been with Microsoft for almost a month.

Victor was with Disney for nearly five and a half years, and on his LinkedIn profile he says he managed brand strategy for family entertainment at "the coolest job in the world". His position included market research, business development, product development, creative, and marketing.

Contacted by The Reg to explain Victor's role, Microsoft would not comment, and Victor's LinkedIn profile says nothing about what he'll be doing. Microsoft's recruitment ad on LinkedIn does provide some detail, however.

Victor's initial focus will be Office, Windows, Bing, and Xbox, which the posting said "has accountability for brand stewardship on primary brand(s)." This means that one of Victor's first jobs will be introducing Windows 8, the successor to Windows 7 that is understood to be on the fast track, looking at an April 2012 release for both the x86 and the completely new ARM-architecture editions.

Windows 8 will be Microsoft's first operating system actually built for tablets in addition to PCs, and is designed to help Windows and OEMs finally deliver their response to Apple's iPad.

Interestingly, its looks like Victor is working on established Microsoft brands and not on Windows Phone, which Redmond is still working to establish and refine in the minds of consumers.

According to Microsoft's ad, Victor must develop and deliver brand strategy, which includes working on product names, messages, visual identities, marketing programs, and packaging, with all this integrated across advertising, PR, events, and retail.

CMG is Microsoft's marketing wheelhouse, setting and coordinating strategy, and measuring results for all products and for Microsoft corporate. CMG was until recently headed by senior vice president Mich Mathews, who this spring said she would retire after 22 years with the company. Mathews led and coordinated all branding, advertising, public relations, research, events, packaging, marketing, and internal communications.

Victor's appointment and Mathews' exit comes as Microsoft attempts to reinvigorate consumers' love affair with Microsoft. The company has been rolling out retail stores promoting and selling Microsoft products, and the target of Windows 7 and Internet Explorer marketing in recent years has been the consumer, with business taking a back seat.

It's Apple, however, that consistently beats Microsoft among those consumers. A 2008 brand survey of 2,000 people found Apple "cool" while Microsoft had "gone from innovative and bold to stodgy and a follower." This year, Apple bumped Google aside to become "world's most valuable brand", with Microsoft in fifth place, behind IBM and McDonald's.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.