Emerging markets a priority for new Microsoft head

Government and emerging markets top the agenda for Microsoft's new international head, Jean-Philippe Courtois

Microsoft has promoted Jean-Philippe Courtois, its chief executive for Europe, to lead its international sales, marketing and services divisions as president of Microsoft International.

As part of his new role, Courtois will have the sometimes tricky portfolio of public sector and emerging markets; Microsoft is facing increasing challenges selling its software into some emerging markets, where some governments are promoting the use of open source software in the public sector.

For instance, the Brazilian federal government is understood to be drafting a decree that will force government agencies to migrate to open source software.

Microsoft will be hoping that Courtois' credentials will help tackle the perceptions around the relative cost, security and openness of Microsoft's products that have led to such policies.

Courtois has served as co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Digital Divide Initiative Task Force and is a member of the South African International Advisory Council on Information Society and Development.

In his new role, Courtois will have overall responsibility for Microsoft operations in Japan, China, the Asia Pacific region, Latin America in addition to France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the rest of theEMEA region, said Microsoft.

Neil Holloway, formerly corporate vice-president of sales, marketing and services for EMEA, has been named president of Microsoft EMEA, with responsibility for operations at Microsoft EMEA headquarters in Paris. He will continue to report to Courtois.