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Richard Branson To Keynote WPC

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Founder and president of Virgin Group Richard Branson will give the guest keynote at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference next month in Los Angeles.

In announcing Branson as the guest keynoter, Jon Roskill, corporate vice president for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, noted Branson's 1999 knighting for his "services to entrepreneurship" and said Branson fits with the WPC 2011 theme of "Winning Together."

"I think Richard Branson embodies the true spirit of 'Winning Together' in every area he touches. As founder and president of Virgin Group, Branson expanded the Virgin brand into air and rail travel, hospitality and leisure, telecommunications, health and wellness, and clean energy through more than 300 companies in 30 countries," Roskill wrote in a blog entry.

Roskill said the choice of Branson was partly driven by a partner survey in which partners said they would prefer to hear from an entrepreneur rather than one of the many Hollywood celebrities available for an L.A.-based conference.

Most of the keynotes at WPC are delivered by Microsoft executives, but the company usually ends the conference with a high-profile guest speaker. Previous speakers included former President Bill Clinton in 2010, former GE Chairman and CEO Jack Welch, who cancelled in 2009 due to a back injury, and Nobel Peace Prize winner and microcredit pioneer Dr. Muhammad Yunus in 2008.

Branson is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, July 13.

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 09, 2011