Kurt DelBene, who officially retired from Microsoft in December, 2013 after 21 years at the company, has returned to Redmond to advise chief executive Satya Nadella on business and technology strategy.

DH Kass, Senior Contributing Blogger

April 15, 2015

2 Min Read
Former Microsoft Office Exec DelBene Returns to Advise Nadella

Kurt DelBene, tapped by Kathleen Sebilius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in December, 2013 to fix the Affordable Care Act’s non-functioning website after retiring from Microsoft (MSFT) only a few months earlier, has returned to Redmond to advise chief executive Satya Nadella on business and technology strategy.

DelBene’s official title is Corporate Strategy and Planning executive vice president, joining Microsoft’s senior leadership and reporting directly to Nadella. He is tasked with leading cross-engineering and cross-business strategy, concentrating on product and engineering opportunities, Microsoft said. DelBene’s role will be to identify opportunities, work with other senior executives on execution and help Nadella to communicate, enact and sustain the company’s strategic initiatives.

“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,” Nadella said. “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.”

DelBene announced his retirement from Microsoft in July, 2013 following the company’s well-publicized reorganization and management overhaul led by former chief executive Steve Ballmer. He had headed the vendor’s Office Division following stints as Business Division senior vice president, Outlook general manager and Exchange group manager.

“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.”

Last September, DelBene signed on with Madrona Venture Group as a partner, targeting investments in early stage, technology-focused startups in the Pacific Northwest.

The Wall Street Journal reported that in the wake of DelBene’s hiring, Microsoft changed the job titles of two key executives, in both cases removing the strategy reference. Mark Penn, formerly the company’s chief strategy officer, now is its chief insight officer, and Eric Rudder, previously advanced strategy executive vice president, now is advanced technology and education executive vice president.

Microsoft confirmed the changes to Penn’s and Rudder’s titles, saying the new designations reflected their current duties.

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About the Author(s)

DH Kass

Senior Contributing Blogger, The VAR Guy

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