Last week, Microsoft’s Chief Executive Steve Ballmer announced a “major reorganization” of the company. The conference was preceded by his statement that “We’re ready to take Microsoft in bold new directions and really delight both our consumers and business customers.”
This incredibly BOLD statement was followed by the news that Microsoft now counts 4 women in its top 14 executive positions. And, although this doesn’t sound like progress, it is. Women are still the exception to the rule when it comes to leading big tech companies and until now, Microsoft has been trailing behind tech giants such as Google and Facebook in promoting women to senior leadership positions.
According to recent statistics, only 11% of Fortune 500 tech company executives are women. Microsoft’s reorganization puts the company at 28%, far from parity, but a step closer that hopefully will start a trend among others in the tech sector.
Among the new women leaders is 20-year company veteran, Julie Larson-Green, who has been made Executive Vice President, Devices and Studios, which includes the development of games, entertainment and premium content for all devices across the company, including the company’s Xbox brand.
Even though women make up almost half of the gamer population, many female players say they are often met with hostility in the strongly and traditionally male-dominated culture of digital gaming. So, it isn’t surprising that this new appointment has a lot of gamers upset, with many taking to the web to express their dismay… it isn’t pretty.
Some of the “cleaner” comments include: “Boo, girls don’t game”, “Didn’t know MS hired sandwich makers”, “…the fact that MS gave her the job, means they have no idea what core gamers want”, “But them botox lips clearly make her the best person for the job”, “Gamers probably thought she was a robot or something at first, but then they realized its just botox and Hollywood facial surgery. nip tuck.”
It goes on and on. But gamers beware… times, they are a changin’. In addition to her 20 years of experience developing, planning and promoting products for the company, Ms. Larson-Green also boasts business administration and software engineering degrees. Certainly experience that will lend itself well to providing a new perspective to a community clearly in need of a shake-up.
We look forward to seeing what Ms. Larson-Green will bring to the table, we can only imagine it will be well thought out and include more women!
Our congratulations to the three other women at Microsoft who have brought us one step closer to breaking the tech sector glass ceiling.
New Women Leaders at Microsoft
Amy Hood, executive vice president and Microsoft Chief Financial Officer
Hood has been an instrumental leader in the Microsoft Business Division having handled the company’s acquisition of Skype and has held many roles within the company.
Lisa Brummel, executive vice president, Human Resources
For eight years prior to joining Human Resources, Brummel served as corporate vice president of the Home & Retail Division where she was responsible for overseeing worldwide development and business strategy
Tami Reller, executive vice president, Marketing
Having held several positions within the company, most recently, Reller was both chief marketing officer and chief financial officer for the Windows division.