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Gillian Kent

Speaker Photograph of Gillian Kent

Gillian Kent is Director of MSN.co.uk, the UK's number one web destination with 16.2 million visitors per month in the UK (Nielsen//NetRatings September 2005).

Gillians role is to lead MSN in its drive to inspire people and connect them to the information and people that matter most to them, whether that is consumers finding the information they need through MSN Search, talking to friends and family via MSN Hotmail and MSN Messenger or advertisers reaching their target audiences through MSN.

Gillian also takes a leading role in tackling pressing industry issues such as spam, accessibility, privacy and child safety. She is a leading industry figure, recently winning the 'Best woman in private sector technology' award at the inaugural Blackberry Women and Technology Awards. She is also an experienced speaker, recently speaking at the FT Digital Pioneers' event.

At MSN, she has pioneered a new flexible working programme that now sees 80% of staff working flexibly and has dramatically improved productivity and staff retention whilst reducing sickness. These new work-life policies won MSN the 'Working Families' Employer of the Year' Award for Innovation, and Opportunity Now's 'New Member' Award, both in 2004.

MSN continues to go from strength to strength following the business' most successful financial year in its 10 year history; year-on-year revenue grew 66% and the team exceeded its overall target by 22%.

Prior to her role as Director of MSN UK, Gillian was Head of Business Strategy and Development at MSN UK, where she was responsible for driving forward MSN free Information Services and MSNs subscription plans and platform deployment in the UK.

Gillian has worked at Microsoft for over 10 years. She was Marketing Director for MSN UK where she was responsible for leading MSN to the No. 1 web destination in the UK and increasing MSN's brand awareness from 8% to 27% in twelve months. Prior to this, Gillian was Head of Product Marketing for the Home & Entertainment Division at Microsoft UK, where she helped to build the Consumer Products business into a multi-million pound business in the UK and, as a result of a re-pricing policy, increased Microsoft's hardware business by 60% in the UK.

Before Microsoft, Gillian spent four years at Seiko Epson Corporation where she was Marketing and New Business Development Manager.

Gillian lives with her partner Sam and their two daughters, Sophia and Ella. She enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends, playing tennis and relaxing.

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