Former Microsoft VP joins Virtual Reality firm

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Derrick Connell, the former Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Bing, has joined the advisory board of VR firm, Mesmerise.

The company, which was founded in 2016 has its development base in central Manchester.

It specialises in creating tailored VR “gatherings” such as conferences, events or meetings.

Connell joins its board following a 28-year career at Microsoft, specifically in search and AI, leading its Bing and Cortana product and engineering teams.

“VR technology has huge untapped potential to help improve the effectiveness of gatherings and to enable people to achieve more from the time they spend together,” he said.

“I’m excited to start this journey with Mesmerise and support its development in 2021 and beyond.”

The company plans to add up to 30 staff in 2021 and recently partnered with financial platform Morningstar to create the first ever VR global investment conference.

Also joining the advisory board is business coach, Anna Rowley PhD, who’s worked with brands including Microsoft, GoDaddy and Yahoo!.

“VR is rightly being embraced by the business world as a brilliant new way of engaging, connecting and training global workforces. This presents us with a huge opportunity, and with the amazing team we’re building, backed up by an all-star advisory board, we’re in the perfect position to grasp it,” added Andrew Hawken, Founder and CEO of Mesmerise.

“Both Derrick and Anna bring unique and invaluable tech sector knowledge, and I know they will play an instrumental role, along with the rest of our advisory board, in supporting the Mesmerise team for what’s shaping up to be our biggest year yet.”