Microsoft Greater China Region Announces Leadership Transition

BEIJING Sept. 19, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. announced today that Timothy Chen has resigned as head of Microsoft Greater China Region and that the company has begun a global search for his successor. In the interim, Ya-Qin Zhang, Corporate Vice President and Chairman of Microsoft’s China Research & Development Group, will lead the business as the region’s acting Chief Executive Officer. Zhang, who will retain his current duties overseeing an organization of 1,500 employees, will be supported by the Microsoft GCR leadership team, a group representing decades of industry leadership experience. Zhang will also work closely with Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International, to ensure a smooth transition. Chen will assume a new leadership role outside of the IT industry.

“We wish to thank Tim for his contribution and service, and to wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International. “With the Microsoft Greater China leadership team, Tim helped achieve unprecedented business growth and also helped the company further its commitment to enabling sustainable social and economic development for people around the world.

“I’m confident that the solid foundation we’ve laid will not only help us continue our business success in the market, but will also further our collaboration with customers, partners and government.”

Microsoft has a long history in China, where it opened its first office in 1992. The company has experienced strong business momentum in recent years, and is well-poised for continued success. Among Microsoft’s recent achievements:

  • During the past five years, Microsoft sales and revenue have grown more rapidly in the Greater China Region than in any other market in the world.

  • During the same period, the company has more than doubled its employee base—for a total of more than 3,200 employees in 15 office locations across the region.

  • In partnership with the government, the company has announced its long-term commitment to China. In the period between 2006 and 2011, Microsoft plans to invest US$100 million in Chinese software companies, provide $100 million in software development and services projects, and provide 80,000 people with IT skills training.

  • Under the leadership of Ya-Qin Zhang, Microsoft’s China Research & Development Group has become one of Microsoft’s most important sources of innovation, and is the company’s fastest growing R&D center outside of the United States.   In April 2007, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced the construction of two new CRD campuses in Beijing and Shanghai. Upon completion, the new locations will not only provide capacity for current and future staff, but also offer shared facilities for Microsoft’s partners and customers.

  • The company has been recognized by numerous publications in China, including the Economic Observer, 21st Century Business Herald, and Guangming Daily, for its corporate citizenship initiatives and community outreach efforts.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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