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June 14, 2006

Meet Microsoft's new security chief

Posted by Kim Peterson at 10:22 AM

News.com has a feature on Ben Fathi, the software engineer who became Microsoft's new head of security on June 1. Fathi replaced Mike Nash, who is now on sabbatical, according to the report.

It was a curious decision by Microsoft to switch its security leadership within months of the release of its Vista operating system, which is supposed to go where no OS has gone before in protecting users from viruses and other nasties. It's certainly tempting to read all kinds of things into that 11th-hour shakeup. But Fathi says that Vista is almost done, and it was Nash's baby, and so the transition made sense:

One of the first things I did is say, "Great, we're almost done with Vista. There isn't a whole lot I can do personally to add to that process. We're done basically."

So I spent two days at an offsite with my direct reports and key partners in the company looking at post-Vista. I see that as the kickoff: We're done with Vista. Let's look at what areas we're going to bet on as a company and also as a team post-Vista. Mike has been involved, but I own that process.

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