Former Clinton adviser Mark Penn to join Microsoft as VP

Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager Mark Penn is joining Microsoft as a corporate vice president.

Penn will leave his post as CEO of the public-relations firm Burson-Marsteller, and will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Penn is one of the best-known political and campaign strategists in Washington, and has worked closely with the Clintons. He served as an adviser and a pollster for then-President Bill Clinton and as a campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential candidacies. 

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“Mark has an incredible background in research, demographics, marketing and positioning and a proven history in developing unique insights that drive success," Ballmer said in a statement. "With a strong set of products and an exciting pipeline for the next year, Mark's experience and out-of-the-box thinking will help us more effectively reach new consumers and grow market share."

Penn will oversee Microsoft’s Strategic and Special Projects division, “with an emphasis on key consumer initiatives for the company,” and “will lead a cross-functional team focused on consumer initiatives and will draw on his experience in strategic development, branding and positioning to develop and deliver breakthrough ideas that meet consumers' changing and dynamic needs,” according to the company’s press release.

"I'm looking forward to applying my diverse skills and experience to some of the biggest new challenges in technology today, and there is no better place to do that than Microsoft," Penn said in a statement.

Former White House Communications Director and Bill Clinton speechwriter and Bill Clinton speechwriter Donald Baer will replace Penn as CEO of Burson-Marsteller.

Baer had been serving on the firm's senior management team as Worldwide Vice Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer.

This story was updated at 11:58 am.

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