Chris Capossela
Chris Capossela in 2018
Boston, Massachusetts
Alma materHarvard University
OccupationMarketing executive

Chris Capossela (born 1969) is a former Microsoft executive who was its Chief Marketing Officer for nearly all of the period from 2011 to 2023.[1][2] Capossela's career at Microsoft includes roles as Bill Gates' speech assistant, Corporate Vice President of the Consumer Channels Group and marketing leadership of the company's Microsoft Office group.[3] He also serves as Board Chair of the nonprofit Worldreader.[4]

Education and career

Capossela graduated from Harvard University in 1991 with a B.A. in economics.[5] He joined Microsoft immediately after graduating, moving from his hometown of Boston to Seattle, WA.[6]

In 1997, Capossela was selected for a two-year assignment as Speech Assistant to Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.[7] In 1998, Capossela was demonstrating Windows 98 plug and play on stage with Gates at the COMDEX Conference when the computer became unresponsive and displayed the Blue Screen of Death.[3] In 1999, Capossela relocated to Paris to lead business operations for Microsoft's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, before returning to Redmond in 2001 to assume leadership of Microsoft Project.[8] Capossela was promoted to Corporate Vice President of the Microsoft Office division in 2003, a role he held until 2011, when he took on leadership of Microsoft's Consumer Channels Group.[9]

In 2014, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella promoted Capossela to Chief Marketing Officer, overseeing marketing across consumer and commercial audiences for all Microsoft services and products, corporate communications, brand, advertising and research.[10] Capossela took over the role from his predecessor Mich Mathews.[11] In 2016, Microsoft consolidated its marketing and consumer sales organizations into the Marketing and Consumer Business group, adding business growth for consumer and device sales, Microsoft Advertising business and Microsoft Stores to Capossela's responsibilities.[12]

Personal life

Capossela was born and raised in Boston's North End.[citation needed] He worked alongside his two brothers, mother and father at his family's Italian restaurant.[3] His family lived in an apartment above the restaurant. Capossela began attending Harvard in nearby Cambridge, MA, in 1987. Capossela, his wife and two daughters live in Seattle, Washington.[13] Capossela is a board member for a 501(c)(3) global non-profit called Worldreader, an organization that provides people in the developing world with free access to a library of digital books via e-readers and mobile phones.[4]


  1. ^ "Meet Microsoft's New Head Of Marketing: Chris Capossela". TechCrunch. 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  2. ^ Bishop, Todd (October 26, 2023). "Microsoft CMO Chris Capossela is leaving after 32 years, replaced by veteran exec Takeshi Numoto". GeekWire. Retrieved 2023-12-14.
  3. ^ a b c Lai, Eric (2010-02-08). "The Grill: Microsoft's Chris Capossela". Computerworld. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  4. ^ a b "Board Members". Worldreader. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  5. ^ Jackson, Joab (2011-04-06). "Microsoft Appoints New Marketing Chief". PCWorld. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  6. ^ Stiffler, Lisa (2018-06-21). "Working Geek: How Chris Capossela went from Bill Gates' speechwriter to Microsoft's chief marketer". Geekwire. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  7. ^ Egusa, Conrad (2011-04-06). "One-time Bill Gates assistant appointed new Microsoft marketing head". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  8. ^ Goss, Madeline (2017-01-19). "Chris Capossela, CMO of Microsoft: Don't Plan Too Far Ahead". McCombs School of Business. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  9. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (2011-04-06). "Microsoft creates new consumer channels group to be headed by Chris Capossela". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  10. ^ Fineberg, Seth (2014-03-06). "Meet the Exec Now Driving Microsoft's $1.1 Billion Ad Budget". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  11. ^ Jackson, Joab (2011-04-06). "Microsoft Appoints New Marketing Chief". CIO. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  12. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (2016-07-07). "Microsoft's latest reorg: Sales and Marketing to be integrated cross-company". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  13. ^ "Chris Capossela - Official biography". Microsoft. Retrieved 2018-06-08.