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Critical Leadership Initiatives at Microsoft

Competitive and Regulatory Strategy Reviews;  Focus, Microsoft Windows, Vista

Challenge: The Company and its flagship product, Microsoft Windows, underwent intense regulatory review and numerous competitive challenges prior to release. The company formed a small task force of legal, business strategy analysts, and technical resources focused on negating regulatory and competitive threats. Obtaining sign off from regulators without significant impact to product design and release schedule was not a given. 

Action: Member of specialized, corporate level team that worked across divisions reviewing proposed strategies, identifying gaps, recommending solutions, and driving change that ensured alignment with key objectives.

Results: After going through one of, if not the most intensive regulatory reviews in history and overcoming numerous competitive challenges, Windows Vista shipped with minimal design change and timely sign – off by U.S. and European regulators. Based on IDC economic impact studies prior to and the Company’s Annual Report one year after release, the impact of delaying Windows Vista was defined as follows:

  • Company: $1.4 billion in revenue per month. $16.8 billion, (28%) of 2008’s $60.4 billion in annual revenues.
  • Domestic Economy: $10 billion dollars and 250,000 jobs per month. $120 billion dollars, 3 million jobs in 2008
  • Protected Loss of Market Share: Apple/Linux were gaining share. Windows Vista shipped 15 million units per month and 180 million units in the first fiscal year after release, restoring growth to the Windows family of products.
  • Protected Potential Revenue Loss: Windows Server 2008 shared the same code base as Windows Vista. Regulatory holds on Vista could have impacted Server 08 and many of thecompany’s billion dollar product lines that relied on it; all slated to launch within months of Sever  08.  Potential for additional loss; $850 million per month.
  • New Antitrust Sanctions: Because of these actions, a minimum of $1 billion in new antitrust fines were avoided. 

Competitive Intelligence Informing Corporate and Legal Strategy

Challenge: The Company did not have a way of capturing company-wide data on outreach to key independent software vendors (ISVs) jointly identified by Microsoft and the DOJ to demonstrate compliance with the company's Consent Decree with the U.S. government. Additionally, the company needed comprehensive data to counter refusal to deal claims by competitors and avoid new antitrust cases. Action: Personally tasked with full accountability for identifying, capturing, and summarizing companys outreach for reporting to executive management, legal, the Court, and the DOJ. Developed relationships with 65 teams, spanning multiple divisions that provided outreach within the company which included executive calendars and communications. Negotiated initial and ongoing process for capture and ongoing data collection from disparate data sources, designed the database for storage and reporting, and provided single page reports used with executive management. Developed successful relationships with these key vendors to insure product development issues identified were resolved quickly, and closed by issuing a formal report from Microsoft, copied to the DOJ. Results: Data was used by Microsoft's C.E.O. and legal department to successfully address complaints raised by competitors, consortium's, and regulators.

  • Savings to the company estimated at $1 billion dollars in antitrust sanctions for each claim resolved; estimated six. Further, a successful claim could have easily led to delays in product launch quantified above. 

Executive Profile

High-performance leader with Fortune 50 / technology industry experience. 

Consistent success in driving and supporting strategic initiatives that increased growth, generated revenues, captured market share, improved profits, and enhanced value. Big picture thinker, ability to lead teams and assignments at the corporate level, across divisions, and at all levels of the organization. Value proposition includes:

Visionary thinker with global perspective, and entrepreneurial drive.

Valued advisor, and key contributor to competitive and regulatory reviews for corporate and product strategies. Helped identify policy patterns used by China, Europe, NGO’s and consortiums comprised of competitors designed to reduce dependency on American innovations via import substitution. 

Effective and wholly accountable in high-profile roles.

Overcome complex business challenges and support high-stakes decisions within fast-paced, high-pressure environments using experience-backed judgment, innovation, strong work ethic, humor, and irreproachable integrity. Respected as a motivational, lead-by-example manager, and proponent of empowerment, and accountability.

Unique blend of technical and managerial expertise with advanced skills in strategic and tactical planning. Demonstrated success in reviewing strategies, gap analysis and strategy alignment to ensure realization. Particularly strong in establishing and managing relationships at all levels with a distinct ability to influence and effectively communicate with senior management and executives across an organization.

International Competitive and Policy Intelligence: Expertise in global market and policy drivers. Provided due diligence reviews of corporate, competitive and product strategies. Delivered intelligence on policy threats that enabled executives to respond to the risks posed by competitors and governments. Demonstrated ability to identify, capture, analyze and report complex in ways that are easily consumed by stakeholders. Successfully facilitated change and oversaw the development of critical compliance audit systems.

Work experience

Aug 2009Present

Founder / Managing Partner

Standards Policy
Dec 1997Mar 2005




Bruce Ludeman

Executive Profile

Mr. Ludeman was a Regional Sales Manager for IBM and went on to become Vice President of Sales, North America for Attachmate.In this role he hired Richard to manage the Los Angles area. Later, he joined Richard as the V.P. of Sales and Marketing for IPR-NOW, Inc. 

Thoughts on Richard Schramm

- From the beginning, Richard had a reputation of being able to quickly pick up new technology or new assignments and run with them.  I think it is also worthwhile to mention that although Richard originally worked for me, in later years, he now fulfills the management role in our business endeavors.  

- Since we first started working together, it has been obvious that Richard has the ability to spot new opportunity, create a response that makes business sense, and manage the people and other resources needed to produce the desired results.  

- He knows how to motivate people and he does it in a unique manner that is tailored to the individual members on the team.  He figures out what drives the individuals, and he helps them see, and understand, and believe in the vision or mission that he and the team have undertaken.     

- Richard creates an environment of mutual respect and team members know that their best ideas will get implemented. 

- Richard also has the skill to know that talking about features and functionality and improvements can get in the way of getting the job done and that at the end of the day, he is the one that has been tasked with producing results.  

- He has that skill to keep people on-task so that the team produces what is expected.  

Ken Sherman

Executive Profile

Mr. Sherman has founded many companies, eight of which have gone public or been profitably sold to public companies.  He has raised capital, led diversified operations, managed licensing programs, led technology development, and supervised intellectual property programs.

Thoughts on

Richard Schramm

- You showed exemplary leadership skills.  You created the original idea, and you kept the team focused on the key objectives.

- You put a good team together. You showed us respect and you were able to assume command at the same time. 

- You had our respect also because you could speak knowledgeably about the business and technical issues equally. 

- It didn't hurt that you were fundamentally optimistic but not unrealistic. 

Michael Krieger J.D., Ph.D

Executive Profile

Michael Krieger is an attorney with the Los Angeles firm of Willenken Wilson Loh & Lieb, LLP. He has practiced high technology business and intellectual property law for more than 20 years, focusing on litigation strategy, counseling, and preventive means to both secure and exploit clients' key assets, whether patents, web content, or other valuable IP. His practice ranges from patent litigation to issues involving development, licensing, services, and disputes in the software and Internet arenas.  His clients have included both start-ups and industry leaders, as well as the United Nations and international web-based initiatives.  He also serves as an expert in technology litigation.

Reference for

Richard Schramm

Richard brings to the table a perspective, which I believe, is too often lacking in both MBA candidates and seasoned executives, namely, an understanding of the interface between technology and management. 

From too-frequent failures of $100M software projects to the 1986 Shuttle disaster, managers' blindness to technology reality is regularly costly and sometimes tragic.  In contrast, people like Gates, Dell, McNealy, Hewlett, and Packard all knew technology as well as having enormous business acumen.


May 2010Dec 2011


Pepperdine University


Persuasive Communications
Client Relationship Management
Competitive Market Intelligence
Risk Assessment and Mitigation
Revenue Generation
Vision, Strategy & Execution
Executive Leadership


Apr 2007Apr 2007

Technology Negotiations

Harvard Law School, Program on Negotiation
Feb 1987Jun 1989

Masters Certificate in Data Communications

The American Institute