Brain Food: Speaking Out - Neil Holloway, President, EMEA, Microsoft

Accept an invitation to address the plenary session of the Global Leadership Summit 2005 and you'd better have something important to say.

Neil Holloway didn't. Here was a chance to give his London Business School audience some insight into the workings of the Microsoft mind, but he did little to address the title 'Creating Customer Value through Innovation'.

He'd looked bored all afternoon, and for good reason. First, LBS's professor of marketing told us the tired tale of the birth of the 3M Post-it note.

Then a VP of Orange read a turgid script that finished with the usual 'the future's bright, the future's Orange'. Holloway's failure to top this was quite a feat. His seven-minute speech had some stunning statistics, though. To date, a billion PCs have been shipped around the world, a figure that will double in the next three years, and Microsoft spends $7 billion a year on research. We could have heard more, but it wasn't forthcoming.

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