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Microsoft Taps Pollster to Head of Strategy Post

Microsoft Corp on Monday put pugnacious pollster and political adviser Mark Penn in charge of strategy but left company watchers uncertain what exactly his new role will entail.In the newly created job of chief strategy officer, Penn's "blend of data analysis and creativity" will be applied across new product areas and strategic investments, not just marketing, new Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella told employees in a memo.The shift for 60-year-old Penn, who made his name advising President Bill Clinton, theoretically gives him more power to sway Microsoft's direction. But it also means he relinquishes direct control of marketing, which will be taken over by Microsoft veteran Chris Capossela.It is not clear if the new job is a promotion or a sideways move for Penn."I would say both," said Ted Schadler, an analyst at tech research firm Forrester. "He doesn't own the advertising budget as Chris Capossela as chief marketing officer now does. But he, along with Eric Rudder, will char...

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