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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

September 26, 2006 at 2:30 PM

Head of Boeing IT leaving for Gates Foundation

Microsoft isn’t the only company with employees eyeing new career opportunities at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Dave Fennell

Dave Fennell, vice president for Boeing Information Systems, is about to leave for a new position heading IT systems at the Gates Foundation. Fennell, who has spent the majority of his 29-year career at Boeing, was in charge of creating and maintaining quality assurance systems across the company. At Boeing Commercial, he’s served as chief information officer and managed computing support for all of the airplane programs.

The Gates Foundation certainly has the prestige and the pocketbook to attract top talent from many fields. Still it’s interesting that an IT whiz like Fennell would find a niche at a charitable foundation. How challenging could it be to network a non-profit after you’ve managed a fleet of airplanes across the globe?

No doubt having someone like Fennell reflects Bill Gates’ own sensibilities and the basic philosophy of using technology to solve the world’s problems. It also points to a key role technology could play linking an increasing number of partners and projects around the world as the foundation ramps up.

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