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Microsoft revamps Asian management

The software giant puts six senior executives into newly created roles in the Asia-Pacific region, plucking them from other jobs across the globe in an attempt to boost business.

Software giant Microsoft has put six senior executives into newly created roles in the Asia-Pacific region, plucking them from other jobs across the globe in an attempt to boost business there.

Leading the pack is Chris Atkinson, the company's new Asia-Pacific vice president for sales and marketing. Atkinson was formerly vice president for product management in the United States.

To be based in Tokyo, Atkinson will lead the development of sales, marketing and partner strategies in the region. He will also be in charge of building developer relations and will oversee Microsoft's MSN, home and retail, original-equipment-manufacturer and network- solution-provider businesses in the region, according to the company.

The reorganization is meant to tap into Asia's fast-growing software market. Microsoft's global server software business, for example, is expected to grow 20 percent to 60 percent over the next three to four years, as more companies--especially Asian ones--embrace the Internet to do business.

In its most recent quarter, the software maker saw revenue in Asia decline 9 percent to $704 million, compared with the year-earlier period.

Directly reporting to Atkinson in the Asia-Pacific region:

• Oliver Roll, general manager for marketing, based in Hong Kong. He is the former director for marketing and corporate affairs in the United Kingdom.

• Vahe Torossian, general manager for small and medium-sized business, based in Singapore. Torossian was previously deputy general manager for enterprise in France.

• Natasha Kwan, general manager for customer and partner experience, based in Singapore. She is the former managing director for Singapore.

• Ang Tit Meng, director for the enterprise partner group, based in Hong Kong. This person was formerly director for enterprise in Malaysia.

• Geoff Lawrie, general manager for strategic development, based in New Zealand. He was previously general manager in New Zealand.

Atkinson will work under Michael Rawding, a Microsoft vice president and the president for the Asia-Pacific region and Japan.

With the exception of Kwan, who will assume her new role Oct. 7, all appointments are effective immediately.

As for the vacant positions elsewhere, two have already been filled. Replacing Roll in the United Kingdom is Nick Barley, a former Oracle marketing director in the United Kingdom. Eric Boustouller, a former Compaq Computer director of sales in France, will assume Torossian's previous role.

Replacements for the remaining posts will be announced at a later date, Roll said.

Irene Tham reported from Singapore.