Vodafone, the global mobile communications group, announced this morning it has hired Pieter Knook, Microsoft’s top mobile executive, to head a new group focused on the “development and delivery of Vodafone’s current and future consumer propositions for the Internet.”
Knook, 49, joined Microsoft in 1990 and for the past five years has been senior vice president of the Mobile Communications Business, in charge of “development, marketing and sales of software that powers mobile phones and personal digital assistants” and “coordinating the overall mobile communications strategy across Microsoft.” Here’s his Microsoft bio.
Vodafone, in a news release, said Knook will be director of a new Internet services group seeking to develop “distinctive consumer Web services such as IP communications, mobile Internet access and selected content categories, through mobile devices.” Knook, who will begin March 10, has the responsibility of “delivering new revenue growth around Internet, content and advertising.”
A reorganization in Microsoft’s Online Services Business is rumored to be on the way today, but I had seen no indication that change was afoot in Windows Mobile.
The Wall Street Journal was tipped off and has a story this morning, saying Andrew Lees, Microsoft corporate vice president for marketing server and tools. Coincidentally, Lees joined Microsoft in 1990, the same year as Knook. Lees reported to Bob Muglia, senior vice president in that business, which has an important launch coming up at the end of this month — probably the biggest new product release of the year for Microsoft. The company is set to release the latest versions Windows Server, SQL Server and Visual Studio.
Microsoft’s mobile efforts are within the Entertainment and Devices Division, led by Robbie Bach, who said last summer that more than 20 million Windows Mobile devices would be sold in the company’s 2008 fiscal year, which ends June 30.