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Microsoft Names Rick Belluzzo President, COO
Associated Press
REDMOND, Wash. — 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 Ballmer.

"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 division.

As president and COO, Belluzzo will be in charge of business strategy and direct business operations, sales, marketing and business development.

"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 for customers."

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 industry.

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