The 25 Most Influential People at Microsoft - 21. Steve Berkowitz
21. Steve Berkowitz, Senior Vice President, Online Services Group
Berkowitz is hugely influential, but finding the right place for him on this list wasn't easy. The former Ask.com CEO is responsible for one of Microsoft's most important growth areas. If not for the aQuantive acquisition--and the following shift in corporate roles--Berkowitz would have ranked much higher. He's an outsider willing to take chances, which works for and against the extent of his influence.
Among Microsoft's 70,000-plus employees, there are many influential people. Twenty-five is too small a number to capture the best of the best among a large group of creative people. But Microsoft corporate culture also is very staid and insular, with a top-heavy power structure. Therefore, for this list, I focused more on operational influencers, although there are some thought leaders included. By Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Watch