Rowland Hanson is the current chairman of CRH & Associates and the CEO of The HMC Company. He is most known for his time at Microsoft where he convinced the company to name their new graphical user interface (GUI) Windows over the original proposal, "Interface Manager." Hanson received a BBA from Loyola Marymount University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated on the Directors List of Distinction.
Before his work with Microsoft, Hanson served as the Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for the Neutrogena Corporation, a skin care and cosmetics company that was ultimately acquired by Johnson & Johnson for a “significant premium.”Johnson & Johnson’s acquisition of Neutrogena – which was largely for the brand’s strength – caught the attention of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer, who convinced Hanson to join them to take over branding efforts of what eventually became Windows.
Since his work with Microsoft, Hanson has served as a consultant, CEO, president and board member at a number of start up and emerging companies, though the bulk of his work has been in and notoriety derived from consulting. Hanson served as a branding consultant for companies like Monsanto, IBM and Nautilus, which created BowFlex.
Hanson is still involved with Microsoft, but now serves as the GM of Strategic Partnering for the Microsoft Alumni Foundation – the complementary organization to the Gates Foundation, which focuses on enhancing global healthcare and reducing extreme poverty, and in the U.S., to expand education and access to information technology. The Microsoft Alumni Foundation serves as a way to connect former Microsoft employees and encourage the further flow of information and ideas.
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^Erickson, James Wallace; Jim (1993). Hard drive : Bill Gates and the making of the Microsoft empire (1. ed.). New York: HarperBusiness. pp. 242–245. ISBN978-0887306297.