Microsoft’s Windows Phone lead Terry Myerson takes our Top Mobile Mover prize

VentureBeat is pleased to announce the winner of the first-ever Top Mobile Mover award: Terry Myerson, corporate vice president at Microsoft in charge of the company’s Windows Phone efforts.

We’re making the announcement today at the Mobile Summit, our invitation-only get-together for 180 mobile execs, entrepreneurs, and investors, in Sausalito, Calif.

Myerson has been overseeing the strategy and development of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform since 2011 and has been a key player in the business since its inception in 2008, when he became the engineering lead for Microsoft’s mobile group. Noted for his no-nonsense approach, Myerson helped lead the charge for Microsoft’s momentous “reset,” when the company essentially threw out everything it had been doing with Windows Mobile and reinvented its mobile operating system from the ground up.

The gamble was a big one, and it’s still too soon to tell whether it will pay off. Microsoft is coming from far behind both iOS and Android in the smartphone market and has far to go before it can even catch the flailing BlackBerry. Make no mistake: Windows Phone is a long shot. But if anything has the potential to be a spoiler in the mobile platform wars, it’s Windows Phone. Microsoft’s partnership with heavyweight phone maker Nokia gives it even more clout, and combined with its desktop OS-based strategy on the tablet front, Microsoft might just drive a strategic wedge between iOS and Android.

Myerson is now charged with leading the Windows Phone business, improving Windows Phone’s marketing efforts, managing relationships with wireless carriers, implementing new software features in recent Windows Phone updates, and most notably, navigating Microsoft’s strategic partnership with Nokia. That partnership has already produced one impressive product: the Nokia Lumia line of smartphones, coming this month to the U.S. in the form of the Lumia 900 on AT&T Wireless.

Windows Phone is early in its lifecycle, but it’s an attractive, responsive operating system that’s getting a lot of notice. You can count on it to make big waves in the mobile market this year. That’s why we’ve named Myerson our Top Mobile Mover for 2012.

For the runners-up, see our list of the top 10 Mobile Movers finalists. And check out the popular votes there, too: Ehud Shabtai of Waze led the popular vote, with 2,523 votes as of this writing. Dr. Paul E. Jacobs of Qualcomm took second place in the popular voting, with 1,473 votes, and Nokia’s Mary T. McDowell took third, with 952 votes.

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