Microsoft Alumnus Signs On At Olympic –

KIRKLAND, Wash./PORTLAND, Ore. – Olympic Venture Partners (OVP) in December tapped former Microsoft manager Bill Miller as the venture firm’s fourth general partner.

Mr. Miller resigned from Microsoft in February 1998 with the intention of taking a year off, but Olympic partners persuaded him to accept the job sooner. Part of Olympic’s motivation for hiring Mr. Miller quickly was a desire to get him fully integrated into the firm before raising a new fund, said General Partner Gerry Langeler.

Wrapped in 1997, Olympic Ventures Partners IV has a dozen companies in its portfolio and likely will raise the total to 16 to 18 within a year, Mr. Langeler said.

“We don’t want to be without a checkbook,” he added, declining to comment on a timetable for raising a new vehicle.

Mr. Miller is OVP’s first partner with operating experience to be based in Kirkland, and the firm is pleased to add a former Microsoft professional to its staff, Mr. Langeler said. OVP general partners Chad Waite and George Clute also are based in Kirkland.

Mr. Miller became acquainted with Olympic’s management team when he invested in a side-by-side fund the firm raised with its last vehicle, and he had known Mr. Clute socially for years.

The new G.P. worked for Microsoft for nine years in a variety of positions, including as a founding member of Microsoft Network (MSN) team. His final post with the software giant was as general manager for the company’s advertising business unit.

Before Microsoft, Mr. Miller was a Santa Clara, Calif.-based sales manager for Digital Equipment Corp. He also has held sales and management positions at Tymnet Inc. in Cupertino, Calif., and was a salesman for Owens Corning Fiberglass in the San Francisco Bay area.

Mr. Miller said he brings to his new job a strong appreciation for the software industry and experience with market timing, having witnessed the early days of multimedia, pen computing and MSN. He also understands what businesses can be successful on the Internet, he added.