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Seven things you should know about Robert Davy

Globe staff

Robert Davy was recently named Microsoft Corp.’s general manager in New England. A former AT&T executive, he joined Microsoft a decade ago. Globe reporter Hiawatha Bray spoke with Davy, 45, about hardware and software, food and wine. Here’s what he found out:

1. Davy’s a finance and sales guy, not a software geek. His first job after graduation was as a stockbroker.

“I was very much interested in finance,” he said. “My dad worked for Wall Street for many years, actually the New York Stock Exchange. He spent his whole career there. I remember coming in with him on weekends and going on the floor of the stock exchange.’’

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2. Despite its stodgy reputation, Davy says, Microsoft is still an innovative company — innovative enough that it adapted its gaming devices Xbox and Kinect to allow doctors to interact, read X-rays, and look at other data during surgery.

One of the things that’s fascinating for me is the amount of research and development we do, in trying to innovate on how people work. Microsoft Office has grown from an application that resided on a desktop, to these [Internet-based] services. Xbox and Kinect were truly innovative to see the applicability in operating rooms.

3. Despite slow sales of Microsoft’s smartphones and tablets, Davy says mobile technology provides many opportunities for the company.

“There’s great diversity in the market, whether they’re Windows-based or not. We’ve talked about Office on the iPhone, Office on the iPad. We understand that there are a lot of different types of devices that are out there. We want to drive a rich experience for people. We want people to leverage the benefits of Office, even if they’re not using a Windows device.”

4. Davy’s smartphone — a Nokia 1020 Windows Phone — is stuffed with family snapshots taken while exploring New England.

“I take so many pictures and I absolutely love this device. Here’s a picture of my son and I . We climbed Mount Jefferson in the White Mountains. We travel fairly extensively through New England. We ski a lot, my family and I, in the wintertime. We’re on the beaches in the summertime. I have two boys and it’s great to see them grow up.”

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5. His tastes in reading are pretty tasty.

“I read The Boston Globe . I also read The Wall Street Journal. I read Bon Appetit, I read Food & Wine, I read Wine Enthusiast. I am a wine enthusiast. The really cool part about wine is that it’s very much about an experience. And so, just as Baskin-Robbins has 31 flavors, there’s different varieties and grapes for wines, for different experiences.”

6. And Davy likes to wash the wine down with good food.

“Both my mom and my sister were professionally trained chefs. I worked for a year in Colorado, in a restaurant, as a line cook. I love to eat. The experience of pairing it with wine has shifted for me over the last couple of years. I’ll start with, what’s a great bottle of wine that I want to drink, and how can the food complement a great bottle of wine?”

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7. So why doesn’t Davy weigh 300 pounds? His secret is 30-minute exercise program called P90X3.

“With this busy life, I have 30 minutes to exercise. I don’t have 90 or 120 minutes. So my wife and I have been doing P90X3 for close to six months, five, six days a week. I find it to be just awesome. You need just a couple of dumbbells, a pull-up bar, and then it’s all Mother Earth and gravity.”


Hiawatha Bray can be reached at hiawatha.bray@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeTechLab.