Lipner Steps Down as Head of MSRC

Lipner's departure marks the second such leadership change at Microsoft's Security Response Center in less than a year.

Steve Lipner, the head of Microsoft Corp.s Security Response Center, is stepping down to take a new job at the company. Kevin Kean, a seven-year Microsoft veteran, will be taking over Lipners duties, Microsoft said Wednesday.

This departure marks the second such leadership change at the MSRC in less than a year. Scott Culp, the former manager of the center, quit in December to become a program manager for security strategies under Scott Charney, the companys chief security strategist. Lipner will become the director of security engineering strategy in the Security Business Unit, headed by Mike Nash.

Kean is currently a senior group product manager for Windows Server 2003 and has been involved with the Secure Windows Initiative. He joined Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., in 1996 as a group product manager for management and communications products.

In his new role, Kean will take over responsibility for the companys entire security response organization, a group that regularly comes under harsh criticism from users and security experts alike. The MSRC is responsible for responding to any security issue found in a Microsoft product and is the group that writes the security bulletins and produces patches when flaws are found.

As such, it is often the MSRC that receives the brunt of the criticism when users believe that the company is not responding quickly enough to security threats or when a patch causes problems on users machines. Kean joins the MSRC at a time when Microsoft is focusing much of its internal resources on an attempt to improve the security of its products and the way that it responds to vulnerabilities and customer concerns.

In his new role, Lipner will be responsible for defining Microsofts security development processes and plans for their application to new product generations. His team will also define and execute new programs to help Microsoft customers deploy and operate their systems securely.

Lipner, whose title was director of security assurance, has been at Microsoft for more than three years. He joined the company after stints doing at The Mitre Corp. and Digital Equipment Corp., among other places.

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