Cloud Computing

Microsoft Rehires Kurt DelBene as Strategy Chief

Microsoft Rehires Kurt DelBene as Strategy Chief
After a decade of steady exoduses by top Microsoft executives, a few are starting to return home: following in the footsteps of Stephen Elop, Kurt DelBene has returned to the software giant after two years serving the US Secretary of Health and Human Services and overseeing Healthcare.gov, the Obamacare web portal.

DelBene has been named executive vice president of Corporate Strategy and Planning, is joining Microsoft’s Senior Leadership Team, and will report directly to CEO Satya Nadella.

“Kurt brings extensive background in business strategy, engineering and customer solutions, as well as a proven track record of delivering strong results in complex environments,” Mr. Nadella said in a prepared statement announcing DelBene’s return. “His experience at Microsoft, recent work on healthcare.gov, and work with startups here in Seattle give him a unique perspective for this new role.”

“I’m excited to rejoin Microsoft,” DelBene said. “My time in Washington and in working with startups has brought a fresh appreciation for the challenges our industry faces, and the ways Microsoft has the talent and ambition to tackle these challenges in creative ways.”

Sponsored Content

What is “Inside Microsoft Teams”?

“Inside Microsoft Teams” is a webcast series, now in Season 4 for IT pros hosted by Microsoft Product Manager, Stephen Rose. Stephen & his guests comprised of customers, partners, and real-world experts share best practices of planning, deploying, adopting, managing, and securing Teams. You can watch any episode at your convenience, find resources, blogs, reviews of accessories certified for Teams, bonus clips, and information regarding upcoming live broadcasts. Our next episode, “Polaris Inc., and Microsoft Teams- Reinventing how we work and play” will be airing on Oct. 28th from 10-11am PST.

According to Microsoft, DelBene will join Nadella’s Senior Leadership Team—now with 16 members—and will “lead both cross-engineering and cross-business strategy and execution initiatives with an emphasis on opportunities that span product and engineering boundaries.” He will focus on identifying future investments and opportunities; working with other senior executives to ensure end-to-end execution; and assisting the CEO in communicating, executing and sustaining strategic initiatives, Microsoft says.

What Microsoft doesn’t say, however, is that many of these duties were previously performed by the controversial strategist Mark Penn, who previously served Microsoft as Chief Strategy Office. Mr. Penn is now listed on Microsoft’s senior executive dart board as Chief Insight Officer, whatever that means. Penn is the man behind Microsoft’s polarizing “Scroogled” ad campaign as well as the more recent and centrist “Empowering” ads. He formerly advised both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

DelBene’s return also impacts Eric Rudder, who was previously the executive vice president of advanced strategy (and before that was Chief Technical Strategy Officer). His new title is executive vice president of advanced technology and education. Microsoft says the job title changes to Mr. Penn and Mr. Rudder are not demotions—both are still on the Senior Leadership Team—and better reflect the roles the two have been playing at the company.

DelBene previously lead Microsoft’s Office division for three years and had retired from Microsoft in 2013 as part of a major corporate reorganization called “One Microsoft” under then-CEO Steve Ballmer. He had been at Microsoft for over 20 years by that time. In late 2013, he was asked by the Obama administration to fix the then-troubled Healthcare.gov web site, which had previously launched in disastrous shape. In September 2014, DelBene joined a Seattle venture-capital firm called Madrona Venture Group.

DelBene remains on the board of trustees for Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and on the board of directors for the nonprofit Global Partnerships, which works to expand opportunities for people living in poverty in developing countries. He is married to U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene—who not coincidentally represents the area of Washington State that includes Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond.

Related Topics:

BECOME A PETRI MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Sign up for a Petri Account

Register
Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Paul Thurrott is an award-winning technology journalist and blogger with over 20 years of industry experience and the author of over 25 books. He is the News Director for the Petri IT Knowledgebase, the major domo at Thurrott.com, and the co-host of three tech podcasts: Windows Weekly with Leo Laporte and Mary Jo Foley, What the Tech with Andrew Zarian, and First Ring Daily with Brad Sams. He was formerly the senior technology analyst at Windows IT Pro and the creator of the SuperSite for Windows.
External Sharing and Guest User Access in Microsoft 365 and Teams

This eBook will dive into policy considerations you need to make when creating and managing guest user access to your Teams network, as well as the different layers of guest access and the common challenges that accompany a more complicated Microsoft 365 infrastructure.

You will learn:

  • Who should be allowed to be invited as a guest?
  • What type of guests should be able to access files in SharePoint and OneDrive?
  • How should guests be offboarded?
  • How should you determine who has access to sensitive information in your environment?

Sponsored by: