Members of Microsoft’s “20-Year Club” Reflect on the Past and the Future

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    NICK ADSL UK Administrator

    May 13, 2003
    Q&A: Members of Microsoft’s “20-Year Club” Reflect on the Past and the Future
    As Microsoft celebrates its 30th anniversary, long-time employees reveal why they keep showing up for work each day. Hint: There’s more to it than the technology.
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    30th Anniversary Video Clips
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    Microsoft Reflects on the Past, Present and Future – Sept. 21, 2005
    Microsoft Resources:

    Microsoft’s 30th Anniversary Press Materials & Photos

    REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 21, 2005 -- Microsoft celebrates its 30th anniversary this week, a milestone that gives pause to many of the company’s seasoned employees and inspires them to reflect on their careers and on the events and technology achievements that defined Microsoft’s history. To mark the occasion, PressPass spoke to a group of employees who share the distinction of working at Microsoft for two decades or longer. They represent a group known informally as the 20-Year Club. The group has no charter or official standing at Microsoft, but its 71 members – who grow in number each year – wear the badge of longevity with pride.

    The five Microsoft veterans are:

    Christine Betts, senior director of IT Professional Audience Marketing. Betts started as an accountant in Microsoft’s United Kingdom subsidiary in July 1983, moving from that role to controller to director of finance and administration. Her career has spanned positions in Europe and Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, including management roles in the company’s IT, product support and customer service organizations.

    Sandra Jacobson,
    a senior program manager in the Partner Sales and Marketing Group, who joined Microsoft in May 1983. Currently the company’s longest-tenured female employee, Jacobson started out working on XENIX (Microsoft’s version of UNIX), but her varied career has also encompassed developer tools, systems languages, ISV relations and Windows (she remembers when it was still called “Interface Manager.”) Among her proudest accomplishments: starting the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) program and helping it grow worldwide.

    David Pritchard, senior director and chief of staff in the Advanced Strategy and Policy Group, who’s been with Microsoft since November 1981. Pritchard started out in the PR, Corporate Communications and Technical Publications Group, then worked in operating systems, IT, human resources and product development organizations before assuming his current role, which involves worldwide policy issues such as intellectual property protection, security and technology neutrality.

    Tandy Trower, general manager for a product incubation project, whose Microsoft career began in October 1981, when Microsoft had just 90 employees. His initial responsibility was the company’s dozen or so BASIC products, but it soon came to include Microsoft’s entire family of programming languages, as well as games and education software. In Trower’s 24-year career, he has also managed the first two releases of Windows, helped to launch Microsoft’s eHome division and helped foster the company’s overall focus on user-interface design, including the founding of its first usability labs.

    Mark Zbikowski, an architect with the Core File Systems team, who started at Microsoft in January 1981. Zbikowski has served in a technical capacity for all of his nearly 25 years at Microsoft, helping to drive the development of such signature products as MS/DOS, CP/M, XENIX, OS/2 and Windows NT.

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