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Bradley Michael Chase
August 3, 1960
Burlingame, California, U.S.
|Citizenship||United States of America|
|Known for||Became the first marketing leader for the new Microsoft Office products|
Bradley Michael Chase (born August 3rd, 1960), is a former Microsoft senior executive, author, speaker and advisor. At Microsoft he was a Senior Vice President and member of the business executive committee and held numerous positions including leading the launch of Windows 95, and running the MSN Group.
Early life & education
Brad Chase was born in 1960 and raised in Daly City and Burlingame, California. He graduated from Mills High School in 1978 and the University of California at Berkeley in 1982 with a BS degree in Business. Brad also earned an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management in June 1987 as part of a Kellogg one-year MBA program.
From 1982 to 1986 Chase was a sales representative for Boise Cascade’s office products division, after which he attended Northwestern. Following his MBA, he joined Microsoft.
Chase started as a product manager on Microsoft Works in Sept of 1987. In 1989, he became the first marketing leader for the new Microsoft Office products. In 1990, he became the group product manager for MS-DOS 5. MS-DOS 5 was the first time Microsoft offered an operating system upgrade product. Chase hired famed jazz musician Dave Brubeck to perform Take 5 at the launch event which was held on a yacht in New York harbor labelled "Dos Boat." Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Chase did the presentations and demonstrations to the launch attendees. After MS-DOS 5, Chase became the general manager of MS-DOS 6, leading the entire project. MS-DOS 6 was launched by Chase and Gates at Moscone Center in San Francisco in March 1993 and simulcast to computer user groups across the US. MS-DOS 6 had a few minor updates and would be the last version of MS-DOS Microsoft developed.
After MS-DOS 6, Chase became the marketing leader for Windows 95. The product was considered a milestone product for Microsoft and is often credited with ushering computers, Microsoft and even Bill Gates into the mainstream. and the marketing campaign was significant at the time with spending estimated at $300M . The ad campaign featured the music of the Rolling Stones Start Me Up and the launch event featured Jay Leno. The Sun, a British tabloid newspaper, published a story that Gates had called Mick Jagger and asked for the rights to the song. According to the rumor, Jagger threw out a crazy high number – $12 million, figuring that Gates would say no but that Gates surprised Jagger and immediately agreed to his outlandish price. This urban legend about the origins of the deal was still prominent until Chase revealed in 2020 that he, not Bill Gates, negotiated the deal and paid dramatically less. Chase's leadership of the Windows 95 marketing effort was highly regarded. He was named one of the top 100 marketers of the year by Ad Age.
After Windows 95, Chase worked on several internet initiatives, including versions 1-5 of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. He was the lead negotiator in the famed Microsoft/AOL internet browser partnership before returning to lead Windows marketing for Windows 98 and Windows 2000. Over three days in February 1999, Chase was a witness in the United States v. Microsoft Corp. antitrust lawsuit where his testimony included explanation of the deal with AOL. Chase's testimony was considered to be one of the few bright spots for Microsoft as the government's lead prosecutor, David Boies, according to Fortune Magazine, seemed "flustered" when cross-examining him.
In a March 1999 Microsoft reorganization, Chase was selected as the new leader of MSN as part of the Consumer and Commerce Group. In September of 1999, Microsoft President Steve Ballmer named Chase a Senior Vice President and Executive Officer. Chase continued leading MSN and, under his leadership, overall traffic, search traffic and revenue doubled. In 2001, it was announced that Chase would retire from Microsoft in early 2002.
Advisory and Board Work
After Microsoft, Chase advised executives from many different size businesses and been on numerous boards including:
- Vizrea (sold to Microsoft)
- Mozy (sold to Carbonite)
- DreamBox Learning
- Brooks Running
- Ooyala (sold to Brightcove)
- The Boys and Girls Clubs of King County where he was also board chair
- The Nature Conservancy of Washington
In addition to his nonprofit board work and personal giving, Chase's side company Entspire, maker of the fun and fascinating origins games, Orijinz, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to charitable causes.
Chase also speaks to executives at businesses of all sizes, incubators and with students at top flight MBA programs to help them think about and build winning strategies.
Chase's first book, Strategy First, was announced in January 2020 and will be available in June 2020. It features a Foreword from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and has been praised by numerous CEOs and senior business executives.
In the media
- "Microsoft to Unveil Product With a Splash : Computers: The company Rents a yacht and hires Dave Brubeck to introduce a new version of the worlds most widely used software - November 7, 1993". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
- "MICROSOFT SHOWS MIDAS TOUCH WITH DOS UPGRADE - June 10, 1991". LA Times. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
- Ard, Scott. "Forget Windows 10: Remember when Windows 95 was new?". CNET. Retrieved 2020-01-28.
- Segal, David (August 25, 1995). "With Windows 95's Debut, Microsoft Scales Heights of Hype". Washington Post.
- "The Windows 95 "Start Me Up" Story". Retrieved 2020-05-19.
- "THE MARKETING 100;BRAD CHASE". Ad Age. 1996-06-24. Retrieved 2020-01-28.
- Wellen, Alex. "Chase: MS a 'breath of fresh air'". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-01-28.
- "Let's Go To The Videotape Armed with dueling tapes, the government and Microsoft quibbled over download times and modem speeds. Thanks to one strong witness, the software giant actually turned this sideshow into a moral victory--but was it too little, too late?". Fortune. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "Microsoft reorganizes around four main units - Mar. 29, 1999". CNN. Retrieved 2020-01-28.
- Buckman, Rebecca Staff Reporter of The Wall Street (2001-04-10). "Microsoft Veteran Brad Chase To Leave His Post at MSN Unit". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-01-28.
- "Microsoft legend brings his talents to the Boys & Girls Club King County". Microsoft Alumni. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
- "Strategy First". Retrieved 2020-05-19.
- "Strategy First: How Businesses Win Big". Retrieved 2020-05-19.
- Brad Chase on linkedin
- Brad Chase - Chairman of the Board of Directors @ Boys & Girls Clubs of King County
- Microsoft Former Senior Executive Speaker: Brad Chase
- Brad Chase to Leave Senior VP Post at MSN - Los Angeles
- Microsoft legend brings his talents ... - Microsoft Alumni Network
- STRATEGY FIRST | BRAD CHASE
- Strategic Theory of Relativity with Brad Chase - 1871
- Strategy First: How Businesses Win Big ... - Amazon.com