Hey look, now I’m Director of Strategic Planning, oh, and my name also changed to Oliver Lee

It looks like the Visio blog populated a sample organizational chart with pictures of Microsoft employees, and I am now Oliver Lee, Director of Strategic Planning.

My secret identity has been revealed. I'm moonlighting at Contoso.

Comments (16)
  1. Humus says:

    Congrats on your new role, and new name!

  2. Silly says:

    Strategic planner for sales and marketing indeed. Now I know the source of, and sneaky reason for, all the Contoso references in msdn: subliminal advertising. After all these years no wonder I always find myself buying Contoso branded underpants and hair gel.

  3. Grant says:

    Do they have to get your permission to use your photo or did you sign a waiver? I like how all the major ethnicities are represented!

  4. Joshua says:

    Nice! Now I know what your face looks like.

  5. Entegy says:

    I'm curious, do employee pictures just get randomly pulled from a pool for product shots? Are you guys told when you'll be used like that?

  6. James Curran says:

    Reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask here……

    Where did the name "Contoso" come from?  What does it mean? The best I could find using Google translate is that "Conto so" is Latin for "The Pole", and "Con to so" is Italian for "With To Know"  ("With Knowledge"?)

  7. Jaloopa says:

    @James Curran

    This has already been answered on the blog: blogs.msdn.com/…/822124.aspx

  8. James Curran says:


    That not really an answer.. All that says is that it's been cleared by MS legal as not being used for anything. But where did they get it from?  Someone's mother's maiden name?  Random word generator? Misheard lyric?

  9. @James: actually it doesn't mean anything neither in Italian nor in Latin; in Italian "con" "to" and "so" mean respectively "with", something like "take this", and "I know"; in Latin "conto" is ablative for "pole" (so it would be like "with the pole" or something like that) and "so" doesn't mean anything.

  10. alegr1 says:

    Well, has anybody ever seen you in the same room with Oliver Lee, Director of Strategic Planning? Nobody? Do you want us to believe it's a coincidence?

  11. Ken in NH says:

    In all of my employment experience, I have only received new titles when a company wanted to "promote" me without increasing my pay or responsibilities. Now I know they were holding out; they could have given me a whole new identity too!

  12. Ian Yates says:

    I wouldn't mind a stint at Adventure Works after having cut my teeth at Northwind.  Fabrikam is where all the good stuff's at though :P

  13. foo says:

    @James Curran. This is what a quick search yielded for me… blogs.technet.com/…/361453.aspx. Some dude named 'David Gristwood' appears to know the origin… or does he?… could be misinformation…

  14. foo says:

    Actually, after waking my brain and re-reading, it appears the guy only knows the location of the public unveiling of the name. Actual origin of the name still a mystery…

  15. Mike says:

    It's quite wicked, when you get virtually kicked up in a hierarchy, but it actually is a kick in the crown jewels (getting "promoted" away from writing code? Might as well shoot me)

    Imagine if someone actually took that pic as seriously…

  16. @Entegy – there is an internal "approved fictitious names" web site that any employee can add themselves to. Of course by doing so you sign away any rights. I added myself about 12 years ago, and was thrilled one day a decade later to see my name flash up on the big screen at a Microsoft internal conference.

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