Simon Leung Appointed as Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region

BEIJING, Nov. 13, 2008 – Microsoft Corp. announced today that Simon Leung will join Microsoft as Corporate Vice President, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region (GCR).

Simon Leung, Corporate Vice President, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region (GCR)

A seasoned and respected industry veteran, Leung brings to the role more than 20 years of leadership experience running multinational companies in China and in Asia. Most recently, Leung served as President, Asia Pacific and Senior Vice President & GM, Asia Pacific, Networks & Enterprises at Motorola. His leadership resulted in significant growth for Motorola in the region. “I am greatly excited to join the world-class team at Microsoft,” said Leung. “The opportunity for Microsoft to grow in the Greater China Region, and to help the people and society here realize their full potential is unparalleled.”  Leung will report to Jean-Philippe Courtois, Senior Vice President, Microsoft, and President of Microsoft International.

“We’re thrilled to have Simon lead our team in the Greater China Region during this time of rapid growth and great opportunity in the Chinese market,” said Courtois.  “Given his deep experience in the industry and the region, as well as his strong leadership, I am confident that together with the executive leadership team, Simon will ensure Microsoft’s continued success in the market. With Simon on board, Microsoft will be able to create unique opportunities for our future growth, while strengthening our win-win strategy to be part of China’s drive to become one of the world’s leading innovation economies.”

Leung will lead Microsoft’s continued expansion in the Greater China Region, and is responsible for the development and implementation of an overall regional strategy across all businesses, addressing the needs of the markets as well as the goals and objectives of the company.  He will also be responsible for creating synergy among the sales, marketing, R&D, legal, finance, services, and other operations that Microsoft has in Greater China.

Ya-Qin Zhang will continue as Corporate Vice-President of Microsoft, and Chairman of the China Research and Development Group. In addition, he is also appointed as Vice-Chairman, Microsoft GCR and will work closely with Simon to lead Microsoft’s overall strategy in the Greater China Region. “I am excited to have Simon on board, enabling me to return in full capacity to my Research & Development responsibilities, which I am passionate about,” said Zhang. “China has already become Microsoft’s largest R&D center outside of the U.S., and I look forward to working with Simon to help us realize our full potential in the Greater China Region.”

“I would like to thank Ya-Qin Zhang for his exceptional leadership in taking on the acting Chairman and CEO role for Microsoft GCR during the past year, in addition to his position as Corporate Vice-President and Chairman for China Research and Development,” added Courtois.  “Ya-Qin’s continued leadership is essential to the success of Microsoft in the region.”

Because of the strategic importance and huge business potential of the region, Microsoft has decided to establish an Executive Management Committee for the Greater China Region to provide leadership and governance across the Microsoft organizations and strategies in the region.  Members of the Executive Management Committee include:

  • Simon Leung, Chairman and CEO Microsoft GCR, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft

  • Ya-Qin Zhang, Vice-Chairman Microsoft GCR, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft, Chairman of China Research & Development

  • Eugenio Beaufrand, Chief Operating Officer Microsoft GCR

  • Fengming Liu, Associate General Counsel, Vice President, Microsoft GCR

Left to right: Ya-Qin Zhang, Simon Leung, Jean-Philippe Courtois, Eugenio Beaufrand, and Fengming Liu. Zhang, Leung, Beaufrand and Liu make up the newly-formed Executive Management Committee for Microsoft Greater China Region.

“Microsoft attaches great importance to China, both as a market and because it is such a key center for innovation,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation. “I am confident that with the strong leadership of Simon and other members of the Executive Management Committee, we will strengthen our relationships with customers and partners and achieve new levels of business success in the Greater China Region.”

Microsoft has a long history in China, where it opened its first office in 1992. As one of the earliest multinational companies to establish a presence in China, Microsoft has fostered vibrant relationships with local industry and partnered with the Chinese government to encourage the growth of a healthy IT ecosystem. According to a 2007 study conducted by IDC, for every dollar of Microsoft revenue generated in China, US $16.89 is generated for third-party IT companies in China.

Microsoft has also made strategic investments in local operations that have resulted in strong business momentum. Among these, Microsoft’s China Research & Development Group, one of the company’s most important sources of innovation, is the company’s largest R&D center outside of the United States. In addition, in partnership with the government, Microsoft has previously announced plans to invest US $100 million in Chinese software companies, provide US $100 million in software development and services projects, and provide 80,000 people with IT skills training in partnership with the government between 2006 and 2011.

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