Microsoft has appointed a new chief marketing officer, Chris Capossela, to take the place of Mich Mathews, who announced last week that she was stepping down.

Reporting to Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, Capossela will take the role of senior vice president of the Consumer Channels and Central Marketing groups. Consumer Channels is a new marketing group, comprising Microsoft's retail, mobile operator and distribution marketing teams.

As CMO, Capossela will assume responsibility for handling Microsoft's marketing, advertising and corporate communications. Mathews, who will remain with the company for the next few months, will train Capossela in his new role.

Capossela has been with Microsoft for 20 years. Most recently, he served as senior vice president in the Microsoft Office Division. There, he oversaw the marketing for Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, Project and Visio, among other Microsoft products.

Within Microsoft, Capossela has enjoyed a number of successes. Under his watch at the Office Division, SharePoint grew to be the fastest growing server product in the company's history. He also oversaw the launch of both Office 2010 and Office 2007.

He has had his share of challenges as well. Capossela was the presenter during the infamous Windows 98 Blue Screen of Death incident that took place at Comdex. Before a live audience and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, he plugged a scanner into a computer running a beta of Windows 98, which promptly crashed. (Gates quickly responded "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet").

Prior to working in the Microsoft Office Division, Capossela held a number of marketing, technical and field positions within the company. He worked as Gates' speech assistant. Capossela holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in computer science and economics.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is [email protected]