Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Microsoft Canada president Frank Clegg to step down

Frank Clegg
, the president of Microsoft Canada, is to step down in the new year. He is to be replaced by 10-year Microsoft veteran David Hemler, an American, who will assume the presidency on Jan. 31. Clegg will move into a new, yet to be named role.

The Globe and Mail's Jack Kapica has a basic story about Clegg's departure that appears to be largely written from Clegg's official bio, and
CTV reporter and Globe contributing writer David Akin has a story that highlights Clegg's role in turning Toronto startup DocSpace into a takeover target attractive enough for Critical Path to snap it up in 1999 for $530 million.

Clegg turned what was a $55 million a year nook in the Microsoft empire that had fewer than 100 employees into a $1.2 billion gem staffed by over 700, but his legacy will likely be the child-protection initiative he committed Microsoft to developing.

The Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS), being developed in conjunction with Toronto Police Service's child exploitation unit, is to help authorities track and find pedophiles and other child predators online.

As Toronto police Det. Sgt. Paul Gillespie told me last year, tracking and identifying Internet pedophiles and child pornographers is the most difficult practical aspect of the the work his unit does. The new tools are expected to help automate a number of the time-consuming, repetitive tasks -- such as manually sorting, cataloguing and indexing images found on seized computers hard drives -- so police can concentrate on investigation.

When I spoke to Clegg about the initiative, it was still in the planning phase so few details were available. But with the system slated for delivery before he ends his tenure, don't be surprised if you start to see an upsurge in child pornography arrests as the system helps increase police efficiency by several orders of magnitude.

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