Microsoft rejigs its Hong Kong executive team

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2006, 12:00am

About four months after celebrating its 30th anniversary, Microsoft is preparing to observe its 15th year as a corporate citizen of Hong Kong with a new leader at its helm.

Senior executives of Microsoft's Greater China operations said this year promised to be the most incredible period of technological innovation yet for the company, its partners and the communities it served - echoing the expectations expressed by founder and chief software architect Bill Gates in September last year.

To push that agenda, Microsoft announced last week a shakeup of its Hong Kong executive team.

Herman Lam Heung-yeung, a 10-year IT industry veteran, has been promoted to deputy general manager, following a successful stint as senior director for Microsoft Hong Kong's small and midmarket solutions and partners group.

He now also assumes the post of acting director for the enterprise and partner group, which handles the large enterprise accounts of Microsoft Hong Kong.

Alexander Huang, Microsoft regional director for Greater China, said: 'The International Monetary Fund expects the Hong Kong economy to grow at 4.5 per cent to 5 per cent this year.

'Combining the optimistic growth outlook in the market with the outstanding lineup of products that we will bring to market in the near future, it is important that we strengthen our executive team with local talent that understands the unique needs of companies and consumers in Hong Kong to ensure we deliver the greatest value possible.'

Over the next 14 months, the software giant is expected to deliver twice the number of new products and services than it has in the past three years combined.

The lineup of new and enhanced offerings is expected to transform the way people create and manage information, seek protection from online threats, access TV, movies and other entertainment, and play console games.

Adam Anger has been promoted to senior director of Microsoft Hong Kong's business and marketing organisation after a stint as the group's director.

Former group sales manager Andrew Wong Chung-yan will take over from Mr Lam as head of the small and midmarket solutions and partners group.

Joelle Woo Oi-chi, former server business group lead, has been promoted to director for the developer and platform group. Robbie Ray Wright, former senior director at the company's enterprise and partner group, will move to work at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

Mr Lam, who led Microsoft Hong Kong's cross-border initiative for locally-owned companies to expand their operations on the mainland, said the company was keen to help local firms follow various regulatory compliance initiatives in force around the world.

Of specific concern are the various environmental or 'green' compliance rules set up in Europe, which would have an impact on Hong Kong-owned electronics manufacturing companies based in the Pearl River Delta.

'A flood of business regulations is forcing global IT managers to seek new strategies that minimise the burden and maximise the benefits of addressing regulatory compliance,' said Gareth Lofthouse, European director for executive services at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in a report.

Last year, an EIU survey of more than 800 IT executives from the United States and 21 other countries in the Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, found that implementing regulatory compliance programmes was one of the biggest challenges facing IT in 80 per cent of the largest companies in the Asia-Pacific region, 74 per cent in the US, and 45 per cent firms in Europe and the Middle East.

The public sector is another focus for Microsoft in Hong Kong. Last month, Mr Gates outlined a worldwide public services and e-government strategy that will enable governments at all levels to reduce the cost burden of red tape, and allow increased technology adoption to stimulate economic productivity.