Feeds

Microsoft hires former Hillary Clinton adviser as top strategist

His mission: Put lipstick on Bing

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.