REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 23, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. announced Wednesday that Edward Tobin, currently US WEST vice president for public policy and former top aide to Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, will join the company as senior director for corporate affairs.
“We are delighted to have someone of Ed’s caliber step into this role,”
said William H. Neukom, Microsoft’s executive vice president for law and corporate affairs. Neukom said that Microsoft reviewed over 120 applicants for the position and that Tobin was the company’s top choice.
“We saw a number of candidates who had strong experience in either government or business, but we were looking for someone who was a recognized leader in both government and business,”
“Ed is widely credited with helping to strengthen US WEST’s government affairs programs. At Microsoft, we have an effective and growing government relations program, and we look forward to Ed’s leadership as we take our efforts to the next level.”
“Colorado’s loss is definitely Microsoft’s gain,”
said Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, who has worked closely with Tobin and other US WEST officials.
“I tip my hat to Microsoft for hiring such a talented and effective individual as Ed Tobin.”
“I’m excited to be joining the dynamic government affairs team at Microsoft,”
“Microsoft is a recognized leader on public policy issues affecting the high-technology industry, and the company has a far-sighted community affairs program, so it’s an honor to become a part of their efforts.”
At Microsoft, Tobin will oversee the company’s federal, state and local government relations activities, as well as the Microsoft political action committee, the company’s extensive participation in industry groups and trade associations, and the company’s extensive community affairs and employee volunteerism programs. The position was previously held by Kimberly Ellwanger, who left Microsoft late last year to spend more time with her husband and 8-year-old daughter.
Like many other companies in the high-tech industry, Microsoft has expanded its government relations activities as technology is playing an increasingly important role in people’s lives and technology issues such as encryption, privacy and intellectual property protection have become more common at the federal and state levels.
Tobin, 35, was hired by US WEST in 1997 to revamp its government affairs programs and help the company prepare for the increasingly competitive structure of the telecommunications industry. He is responsible for developing and coordinating the company’s legislative, political and regulatory activities, working with its offices in Washington, D.C., and fourteen Western and Midwestern states. He directs the US WEST political action committee, helps administer the company’s community affairs programs, and oversees the company’s 60,000-member volunteer community service organization.
Previously, Tobin served four years as a top aide to Massachusetts Gov. William Weld and was responsible for developing and implementing political and legislative strategies, acting as principal adviser on federal and state issues, handling senior appointments and personnel decisions throughout the administration, and serving as the governor’s representative to the National Governors’ Association and other groups.
Tobin is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University and received his juris doctor with honors from Harvard Law School. After clerking for Federal District Court Judge Mark Wolf, he practiced law in the litigation group of Hale and Dorr in Boston.
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