Microsoft Corp. named Rick Belluzzo, a
longtime computer and software industry executive who joined the
nation's biggest software company about 17 months ago, as president
and chief operating officer on Wednesday.
Belluzzo, 47, replaces the retiring Bob Herbold, 58, in the
chief operating officer position.
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said in making the
announcement that Belluzzo's selection as president would free him
to concentrate more on corporate strategy and work with chairman
and co-founder Bill Gates, and product team leaders.
Belluzzo joined Microsoft in September 1999 and was vice
president for Internet and personal device efforts. He was
previously the chief executive of Silicon Graphics Inc. after a
stint as executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard Co.
Herbold will remain with Microsoft as a part-time representative
in industry, government and customer activities, reporting to
"After six-and-a-half years at Microsoft and 26 years at
Procter & Gamble, Bob has decided that now's the time to do some of
the other things he's had in mind for some time, including some
serious fly fishing," Ballmer said in the statement.
The statement credited Belluzzo for leading efforts to make MSN
the world's most visited Web site in the world; develop the Xbox
video game console, scheduled for release this fall; unveil
Microsoft's Ultimate TV service, and establish the .NET services
As president and COO, Belluzzo will be in charge of business
strategy and direct business operations, sales, marketing and
"Microsoft is very well positioned for growth," he said.
"We've got an incredible year of new product and service launches
ahead of us, including Windows XP and Office XP, and we're
investing in next-generation technologies such as the .NET platform
Also on Wednesday, Deborah Willingham, 44, was promoted to
Microsoft senior vice president for human resources. Willingham,
previously vice president of Windows Division Marketing, joined
Microsoft in 1993 and has more than 22 years of experience in the