Microsoft shifts UK chief to Asian post

Microsoft has promoted top UK marketer Oliver Roll to oversee marketing for Asia Pacific region, the biggest growth area for the software giant.

Roll has been handed the job of general manager of marketing for the region, which encompasses 14 countries, including established markets Japan and Australia, the huge growth economies of India and China and smaller emerging markets such as the Philippines and Vietnam.

He will be responsible for an adspend of around £137.5m, but this is expected to grow as less markets become more technologically advanced.

He will be based in Hong Kong and takes up the post from August 1, heading a 30-strong central marketing team. The position has been vacant for the past eight months.

Roll will report to Chris Atkinson, vice president of sales and marketing for Asia Pacific. Atkinson's position is more product-focused whereas Roll will act as brand custodian in the Asia region.

"Most of our growth will come from Asia Pacific region over the next few years,

predicted Roll. "PC and internet penetration is very mixed across the region and we'll need to help all the countries learn from each other and build stronger marketing discipline."

Microsoft has begun the hunt for Roll's successor in the UK, where he has been director of marketing and corporate affairs since June last year, responsible for a software adspend of £40m.

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