INTERNATIONAL: Microsoft hands its senior Asia PR position to Richard

HONG KONG: Microsoft has hired Olivier Richard as PR manager, Asian

region - its most senior PR post in Asia.



He replaces Sandra Goh, who moved from the role six months ago to become

small business group director of Microsoft in Malaysia.



Based in Hong Kong, Richard will advise Microsoft's local PR managers

and general managers across the region on strategic communications. He

oversees PR for the company's 12 subsidiaries in Japan, Korea, Taiwan,

China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia,

Vietnam and India.



Richard will also oversee the work of Microsoft's PR agency August.One

Communications, which handles regional PR for the company. Sydney-based

Anne Costello, August. One head of regional services, heads the account,

and will report to Richard.



Richard joined Microsoft in 1997, as PR and events manager for Microsoft

France. There, he was responsible for co-ordinating the relationship

between Microsoft and the media in France, organising trade shows,

events and seminars as well as internal communications and a corporate

communications restructure.



He has also held positions with Vodafone France, where he was marketing

director, and Compaq France. From 1985 to 1987, he was deputy commercial

attache at the French consulate in the Japanese city of Osaka.



Microsoft general manager of business development Mark Phibbs said: 'Our

business in Asia now requires a global perspective to enable us to meet

the needs of our customers and help us maintain our position.'



In the UK, Microsoft reviewed both its PR and public affairs accounts

last year. The public affairs brief - with an estimated annual fee of

pounds 250,000 - went to Grayling Political Strategy. A portion of the

PR account moved to Edelman PR Worldwide, with the remainder staying at

long-time agency August.One.



The department of justice anti-trust case against the company is

ongoing.



Both sides presented oral arguments on the case before the US Court of

Appeal last week, though no judgement has yet been handed down.



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