The 25 Most Influential People at Microsoft - 19. Craig Mundie
19. Craig Mundie, Chief Research and Strategy Officer
Underlings define great leaders. Mundie deserves to be in the Top 15, but influencers in other research projects rank higher, in part because of his work. Mundie is cerebral, and so he's not the most fluid public speaker. But he's got vision, which he communicates where it matters most. Microsoft's best work is coming out of its incubation projects, which are reshaping how the company brings products to market. Mundie is the incubation thought and operational leader.
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