Microsoft names former HP senior VP as new Windows Marketing chief

Microsoft names former HP senior VP as new Windows Marketing chief

Summary: Tony Prophet, most recently an HP Senior Vice President of Operations, is the new head of Windows Marketing.

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Tony Prophet, the former Hewlett Packard Senior Vice President of Operations for Printing and Personal Systems, is the new head of Microsoft Windows Marketing.

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Microsoft officials confirmed the hiring of Prophet via an e-mailed statement from a spokesperson on April 24. The statement:

"We can confirm Tony Prophet will be joining Microsoft as corporate vice president, Windows Marketing, reporting to Chris Capossela. Tony will focus on growing the Windows ecosystem and enabling our partners to be more successful building on Windows."

Prophet is scheduled to start his new job in early May, officials said.

Prophet is replacing Thom Gruhler, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Windows. Gruhler, who formerly headed marketing for Windows Phone, took over the Windows Marketing CVP job from Tami Reller last July. At that point, Reller became the head of cross-company marketing in July.

(Gruhler is moving to Microsoft's Applications & Services group in a new role that company officials are not yet specifying publicly.)

Microsoft announced Reller would be leaving the company in March 2014. She had been leading the central marketing group in conjunction with Chris Capossela before Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella decided to make Capossela the Chief Marketing Officer. 

Prophet has been Senior VP of Operations with HP since March 2012. Before that, he was Senior Vice President of Operations with Carrier Corp., part of UTC that specializes in heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The appointment to this role of an executive of one of Microsoft's OEM partners -- with whom the company's relationship has been strained in recent years due to decisions around Windows and Microsoft's decision to become a hardware maker in its own right -- is an interesting one.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Leadership, Windows 8, Windows Phone

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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9 comments
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  • This means doom I tell you... doom

    :-)
    greywolf7
  • Re: Former HP Senior for Windows Marketing....

    At last it would seem Microsoft have come to their senses and are hiring professionals.
    5735guy
  • Sounds bad, really, really bad

    (1) Hire someone as chief of marketing who has no background at all in marketing
    (2) Hire someone from another company who has a really, really poor experience of marketing (or of anything else, as that happens)
    Ian Easson
    • You don't seem to understand that...

      Leading operations for printing and personal Systems, leading operations for heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems means you have an in-depth knowledge and experience about the consumer market and its needs, right? And what is marketing if not meeting the market and fulfilling consumers' needs?!
      deMaelstrom
      • No, marketing is about manipulating customer's needs...

        not necessarily meeting them.
        (Speaking as a marketer myself.)
        Ian Easson
        • well said.

          But semantics aside... I don't know how I feel about this guy. Windows really is unique in that it needs to balance looking relevant to consumers, but practical for business. The latter is pretty much set, but Windows still isn't necessarily "loved" by the public, and I say this as someone who actually does love Windows and owns a Surface Pro / Windows Phone.
          MarkDau
        • He's responsible FOR the marketing, not DOING the marketing

          He's supposed to hire guys like you (if I understand correctly what you mean when you say you're a "marketer") to actually create and execute the marketing campaigns etc.
          daboochmeister
    • Totally

      agree
      moodjbow
  • Oh well

    At least he didn't come from marketing at HP. They have less of a handle on that than MS.
    sj53