June 16, 2006 11:30 AM PDT
Newsmaker: Ozzie, Mundie pick up tech mantle at MicrosoftSee all Newsmakers
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Mundie: The last seven or eight years, I've done a lot of the outward engagement for the company, both in the technology domain and the policy domain. And in a way that also is what Bill has done, and I will take on virtually all of that. So, I will have more of an external component than Ray will. He will speak out when he wants to speak out in terms of the general communication with both the partner ecosystem, as well as the formal policy questions.
Does that leave you less time for blogging?
Ozzie: Oh, my goodness. Yes, time management is quite an interesting issue. As a matter of fact, I've spent some time in the past week with Bill as we were beginning to talk about this in a more concrete way, about how he spends his time. We went through and looked at what he does with his reviews and meetings, how many relative hours he spends on one area versus another. What he does in e-mail. And I've seen him interacting with groups, but I've never had visibility into the specific allocations, and all that other. And it's been a really interesting thing, because there's a mapping of how and why he does what he does now, and how best to use me and my talents, which are different--we come from a different place--to address the challenges that the company might have moving forward and the opportunities that the company might have. So, I will probably spend a little bit more time more deeply in certain areas that I really have a passion about in terms of succeeding, deeper with the product groups. Bill has spent a lot of time at a broad level with a number of product groups.
Can we talk about some of those areas?
Ozzie: I'll state the obvious. Everything having to do with this Live initiative really Bill wasn't spending a huge amount of time on that, and now that's a very significant activity that I am engaged in. And I have a natural gravitation towards what Microsoft refers to as the information worker area. Because I spent so much time of my career in collaboration, that tends to lead me towards things related to communications and devices and things like that. I think those are areas in which I can add a lot of value to those groups, and because of the customer experience I've had with that.
One of the things that characterizes the way Microsoft has done its planning and strategy has been Bill's "think week," and using that as an opportunity to get ideas from across the company. Obviously, some pretty important papers come out of that. I'm curious, is that a model you look to continue? Will it be you reading all of those papers?
Ozzie: Bill has not actually read all the papers in a think week in, I believe he said, four years. As the process has evolved, individual employees realized this is a great opportunity to get a broad amount of visibility, and as it's progressed, more people have been commenting on think week papers, not just Bill. We're going to continue the process. A lot of great ideas come of out of it, and it actually surfaces a lot of very good thinkers within the organization. But we're going to continue evolving it toward many of our technical leadership commenting on things. I'll participate. I will continue to participate, as will Bill, as will Craig, and others.
Mundie: That one is sort of mythological in proportion because people have read about it. But one of Bill's great strengths has been, I think, in many ways, solidification of ideas from the various brain trusts in the company for years and years, and his ability to bring that together. That has become a much more collaborative process in the last, I would say, eight years, because that's when I went to work with him, and even then he was recognizing that that, too, needed a scale mechanism, and the creation of the CTO office was a part of a way to get the distribution of the collection and interaction with a number of these things. And while everybody sees Bill in a few of these public processes, the company really has had a richer form of interaction among the senior people, and the ability to synthesize and provide direction around that. As Ray said, I think all those things are increasingly important, and frankly shared among a broad group of people.
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