Feeds

Microsoft hires Disney man for consumer crusade

Corporate mission: to be less stodgy

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit
And at the back of the field, Windows 8.1 is sprinting away from Windows 8
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?