Ronald S. MacMillan, CGA
Manager of Business Operations, Microsoft
By Karen Murphy Corr
Ronald S. MacMillan planned to either start or buy a small business when he graduated from college. But after earning his CGA designation and gaining valuable work experience, Ron landed his dream job with one of the world’s largest employers and best-known companies.
“Five years ago a friend working for Microsoft said he thought I would enjoy working there and he had the perfect job for me. I moved and have not had a boring day since,” explains Ron, who is Manager of Business Operations and now living in Washington state. “I am now working on the development of world-class systems and I continually have the opportunity to add value and make a difference.”
Ron, who was born and raised in Saskatchewan, studied business administration at Cariboo College in Kamloops, BC. His first job was as a junior accountant with Chevron and he quickly realized more challenging future career options depended on him expanding his accounting knowledge.
“I choose the CGA because I could complete it from home while still continuing my career.”
Ron says he also liked that the CGA designation would open doors in either industry or public practice.
After nine months with Chevron Ron took another accounting position with Crown Zellerbach, a company in the forest industry. He spent nine years there moving through several accounting positions in various areas of the business including logging, sawmills, pulp mills, and head office.
“During this time I was introduced to the power of computers and spent time assisting in the development of a costing system, first on mainframes and then moving onto the personal computer.”
In ensuing years Ron worked as assistant comptroller of accounting for the City of Vancouver and then in various capacities for both Canadian and American forestry industry firms. His responsibilities included implementing a company-wide computerized costing system, leadership roles, and assisting in the set-up of new businesses. His work took him from Canada’s West Coast to Montreal and to the United States.
When the opportunity to work for Microsoft arose, Ron didn’t hesitate to move: “It was a great opportunity and is still very close to Vancouver.”
Ron says the highlight of his career has been working for Microsoft.
“Every day I have the opportunity to work with some great minds and together we are building unique solutions to processes. I never have a dull day and I am constantly learning.”