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Cannes Lions 2009: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer named Media Person of the Year

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Cannes Lions 2009: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer named Media Person of the Year

Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corporation, will be honoured with the Media Person of the Year Award at the 56th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The Media Person of the Year Award pays tribute to a prominent personality who is an influential figure in the development of today’s media landscape, which ultimately plays an integral part in shaping the future of the advertising industry.

Ballmer will be awarded in recognition of his leadership and Microsoft’s continued commitment to digital advertising. He will be honoured during the Press, Cyber and Design Lions Awards Ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, June 24, 2009, in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes.

Festival CEO Philip Thomas said, “We are delighted to honour Steve Ballmer, a passionate and dynamic personality whose energetic leadership and vision over the years has made Microsoft into the global leading brand that has touched the lives of millions, and changed the face of worldwide communication.”

On receiving the Award, Ballmer said, “I’m honoured to accept this prestigious award on behalf of all the people at Microsoft, who are working to redefine media and advertising in the digital era. This is a time of sweeping innovation and transformation in advertising and publishing, and there are incredible opportunities to use technology to deliver more value to both advertisers and consumers. We look forward to working closely with our media and advertising partners to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.”

Ballmer was hired by Bill Gates in 1980 to be Microsoft’s first Business Manager at a time when the company had just 24 employees. Today, Microsoft has 90,000 employees in more than 100 countries and Ballmer has played a critical role in the company’s success at every step of the way. He has served as head of operations, operating system development, and sales and support. In 1998, he was named President of Microsoft. In 2000, he became its CEO.

Previous recipients of the Media Person of the Year Award include: Sir Anthony O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Independent News & Media; Tsuneo Watanabe, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings; Gunter Thielen, Chairman & CEO of Bertelsmann; Lachlan Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation; Arnaud Lagardere, Chairman and CEO of Lagardere Group; Sumner Redstone, Chairman and CEO of Viacom; Gerald Levin, CEO of AOL Time Warner; Jean-Claude Decaux, President of JCDecaux Group; and Silvio Berlusconi, media magnate and Prime Minister.


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