Every year, Microsoft gives Technical Recognition Awards to Microsoft’s technical leaders and innovators. All honorees are nominated and judged by their peers within the Microsoft Technical Community Network (TCN), a community of senior leaders and contributors representing Microsoft’s technical core. Harry Shum who headed Microsoft’s search efforts was awarded with 2014 Outstanding Technical Leadership. This award recognizes an individual responsible for creating or directly influencing a visionary initiative through collaboration and technical leadership, creating a breakthrough in the technology industry. With the presentation of the Outstanding Technical Leadership Award, the Microsoft Technical Community Network recognizes Harry Shum for his transformative impact on Search Development at Bing in OSD.
When Steve Ballmer handpicked Harry Shum to lead the then-struggling Bing search quality team in 2007, Shum considered himself a “surprising choice.” As we shall see, this faith in Shum was well founded: In relatively short order, Shum righted the ship and spearheaded a series of science and engineering enhancements that would turn Bing into a viable consumer alternative with a rapidly increasing search query share in the U.S.
Although the TCN Technical Leadership Award is a fitting and well-deserved testimonial to Shum’s leadership, he recently earned an even bigger endorsement. At the conclusion of 2013, Steve Ballmer once again tapped Shum for a critical leadership role, this time as executive vice president of Microsoft’s Technology and Research Group. Shum now oversees Microsoft Research, as well as the company Trustworthy Computing Group and Technology Policy Group.
“My new charter is to drive the company’s overall technical direction with SLT, especially for the mid-term and long-term,” says Shum. “We are already building products in a 12- to 18-month time frame. So we want to look beyond 18 months into the future. At MSR we have the charter to look ahead even five or ten years to where all the technology is headed.”
Shum says he is comfortable leaving his position at Bing, knowing his team is positioned to continue its great work. And he leaves with a great deal of satisfaction in what was accomplished. “I am proud of what we achieved as a team,” he concludes. “I am proud that we have built a very high-quality search engine comparable to Google and with differentiating features. We have provided to society, even to humanity, a different voice than Google.”
Learn more about his achievements here.