Feeds

Microsoft hires former Hillary Clinton adviser as top strategist

His mission: Put lipstick on Bing

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft is a company that divides opinion, which may explain why it has hired Mark Penn, a political strategist and pollster who served as senior strategist for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, as its new corporate VP for strategic and special projects.

"Mark has an incredible background in research, demographics, marketing and positioning and a proven history in developing unique insights that drive success," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said via press release. "With a strong set of products and an 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."

The Wall Street Journal reports that Penn is charged with assembling a "SWAT team" of spin doctors strategists to massage Redmond's messaging, particularly in the area of consumer products.

Job One for Penn is the unenviable task of boosting the market share of Microsoft's Bing search engine, the flagship property of the company's loss-making Online Services division, the Journal reports.

Since it launched in 2006, Online Services has been a veritable lodestone around Microsoft's neck. It has cost Redmond billions, yet its revenue pales in comparison to all the other divisions of the company, and Bing's share of the global search-engine market can't hold a candle to Google's.

Before taking the gig at Microsoft, Penn was CEO of the PR firm Burson-Marsteller, which has brought in former Bill Clinton speechwriter Donald Baer to replace him.

Penn is also the CEO of polling firm Penn Schoen Berland, and coauthor of Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes, the bestselling book about "the impact of small groups in politics, business and social change."

"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," Penn beamed in Microsoft's press release.

He has his work cut out for him. His client failed to nab the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, and she was powerhouse Hillary Clinton. Now he's working for Steve Ballmer. ®

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

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
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.
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.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.