Microsoft has named Assaf Rappaport (34) as head of Israel Research and Development at Microsoft Israel Ltd. Rappaport replaces Yoram Yaacovi, who announced last September that he was leaving after twenty years in the post.
Microsoft's first research and development center in Israel opened 25 years ago. Microsoft currently operates three research and development centers in the country, in Herzliya, Nazareth, and Haifa. A few months ago, Microsoft announced its intention of setting up a new campus to bring together all its Israeli R&D units and company offices. The campus, to be constructed in Herzliya, will be managed by Microsoft Israel country general manager Shelly Landsmann. The R&D activity will be still managed by Rappaport after the transfer to the new campus.
Yesterday, Tzahi Weisfeld, senior director of Microsoft Ventures, announced that he was stepping down; no replacement has been named yet. Microsoft's activity in startups in Israel has diminished.
Rappaport joined Microsoft two years ago when Microsoft bought cybersecurity company Adallom, of which he was one of the founders. Since then he has managed Microsoft Israel's security unit, which has grown to hundreds of people in the past two years. He will continue to lead the Cloud Security group, which, besides Adallom, has also bought startups Secure Islands and Aorato.
Rappaport studied physics, mathematics and computer science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and holds a second degree in computer science from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. He served in the IDF 8200 intelligence unit for six years, and then worked for consultants McKinsey in Australia. He later founded Adallom with Ami Luttwak and Roy Reznik, two friends from the 8200 unit.
Rappaport said, "Microsoft has been undergoing a real revolution in the past few years. This is a company that with a culture of excellence, daring and innovation. Microsoft empowers its people, grows with them, and challenges them to achieve more. I am proud to lead this revolution in Israel."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 18, 2018
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