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Microsoft Hires Pollster Penn to Lead Consumer Initiatives

Microsoft Corp. has hired Mark Penn as corporate vice president for strategic and special projects, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer as the company readies new offerings for the tablet-computer market.

Penn, 58, was the worldwide CEO of the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and CEO of the polling firm Penn Schoen Berland LLC, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said in a statement today. Penn will focus on key consumer initiatives, Microsoft said.