Microsoft names Cindy Rose as first first lady of UK ops

Former Disney exec leaves the cartoon characters behind... oh hang on

The fires were lit and a chicken sacrificed at Microsoft’s Reading HQ campus today as new UK CEO Cindy Rose was sworn in* - the first female to run the business locally.

Rose was poached from Vodafone where she was head of the consumer division. 1 July was her official start date though she won’t slip into the CEO hot seat for another four months, which seems like a prolonged probation period.

Her arrival signals the end of current UK boss Michel Van der Bel’s time in charge after four and a bit years - he leaves on 1 November for an as yet unidentified role.

As is customary in such situations, marketing hyperbole about digital transformation littered the firm’s confirmation of the senior switchover, so we’ve decided not to use much of it.

Microsoft International Jean-Philippe Courtois, said he was “truly delighted” to welcome on board his new charge.

“Over the next few months Michel will work alongside Cindy, to ensure we have a smooth transition of leadership and continue to drive our business forwards,” he said.

A spokesman confirmed Rose was the first woman to run Microsoft in the UK - no doubt she'll have heeded the advice for women in IT generously given by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about not asking for raise and relying on karma.

Rose was previously exec director for digital entertainment at Virgin Media and senior veep & EMEA MD at Disney Interactive Media Group, and held a senior role at The Walt Disney Company. ®

*No chicken were hurt in Rose's inauguration ceremony but we suspect staff held up lighters as she entered the auditorium.

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