Microsoft Creates Vendor Diversity Directorship, Investment Pool

REDMOND, Wash. May 20, 2002 At the Seventh Annual Black Enterprise/Microsoft® Entrepreneurs Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Microsoft Corp. announced the creation of a strategic office and a commitment to establish an investment pool for minority vendors to help the company achieve its goals of creating best-in-class diversity programs. The company also announced that it will look to G. Winston Smith, formerly the supplier diversity director for AT & T Corp., to lead this new initiative.

“Winston is a recognized leader in building vendor diversity programs,”
said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp.
“I look forward to working with him to help us greatly increase our support of minority-owned vendors in ways that enable them to grow their businesses.”

Microsoft believes that Smiths proven track record for driving best industry practices will serve as an important cornerstone in the companys larger diversity programs. While at AT & T, Smith led the companys procurement of more than $1 billion worth of products and services annually from minority-, women- and disabled-veteran-owned business enterprises. He is a board member of a variety of key minority procurement organizations, including the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Minority and Women Business Development Group. In October 2001, Smith was recognized by the National Minority Supplier Development Council as the Minority Business Enterprise Coordinator of the Year. He holds a masters of business administration degree in finance from Georgia State University as well as a bachelors degree in economics from Morehouse College.

In addition to serving as supplier diversity director, the 21-year veteran of AT & T has held positions in network services, engineering, operations, and law and government affairs; served as an executive assistant to the president of network services; managed the companys U.S.-based network services real estate portfolio; and directly managed field operations and engineering forces.

“Microsoft understands that vendor diversity programs have to be integrated into the companys larger procurement organization,”
Smith said.
“Microsoft truly realizes the long-term business value of these investments and is serious about becoming the standard-bearer for technology companies in the area of diversity. It is exciting to imagine the potential that exists on both sides of this equation. Were going to create some great opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses, and along the way, we are going to run our own business more effectively and efficiently.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software any time, any place and on any device.

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