"A humbler Microsoft" is "reinventing itself," writes Advertising Age. "It is enlisting young executives ... in a marketing-leadership program to help it overcome hurdles such as competition from free software; the challenge of competing against itself with new products; and getting consumers to trust the company once blames for security breaches." Microsoft's chief marketing officer, Mitch Mathews, was elevated so that he reports directly to CEO Steve Ballmer. Microsoft also created a new organization, Marketing@Microsoft, with a training program offering "peer and career mentors" that draws 70 to 80 recent graduates a year. Each year, "the top students get treated to a lunch with Mr. Ballmer." Lastly, Microsoft has begun conducting "consumer research before programmers hit the keyboards."
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