China tops new Microsoft president's hit-list

Along with other emerging markets in India and Russia

Along with other emerging markets in India and Russia

The new head of Microsoft's international business says one of his biggest priorities will be tapping into opportunities in emerging markets such as China, India and Russia.

Jean-Philippe Courtois has this week been promoted to president of Microsoft International, in the process handing over responsibility for Europe, the Middle East and Africa to former Microsoft UK chief Neil Holloway.

Courtois will be responsible for leading 15,000 staff in all of Microsoft's sales, marketing and services business outside of North America.

In an interview with silicon.com Courtois said building trusting relationships will be key to breaking into emerging markets, especially when governments in some developing countries have started to make moves towards open source.

"I think about growth first and especially in emerging markets in China, India and Russia. I've spent a lot of time in the last five years in the Middle East and Africa positioning our company and I feel very passionately about developing that at a company level. It's all about creating deep trust and deep partnerships."

Courtois, who will report into Microsoft's worldwide head of sales Kevin Johnson in Redmond, added that established markets such as France, Germany, Japan and the UK will still remain key to future growth.

"Japan is number two outside the US and there are lots of opportunities to exploit growth in Japan. We also see the UK market as fast growing for a few years yet both in terms of business and the consumer world," he said.