Published: August 21st, 2013

A Microsoft Canada spokesperson has confirmed to CDN that Max Long is leaving the post of president of Microsoft Canada on Sept. 30.

Earlier on August 21st, CDN learned from multiple sources that Long resigned, but that’s not the case. Long is leaving the Canadian operation for family reasons. He has a son who wants to complete high school in the greater Seattle area and Long plans to re-unite with his family there.

The spokesperson added that leaving Microsoft Canada was a tough decision for Long. The staff at Microsoft Canada is also disappointed and sad to see him leave as well, the internal source said.

Long has taken a position as vice-president of Americas services and will relocate to the Redmond, Wash. headquarters of Microsoft.

Long provided CDN with a statement regarding his departure.

“I am grateful for the time that I have spent in Canada.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with our Canadian customers and partners. Canada is a vital and strategic market for Microsoft and I’m  confident that our team will continue to make strides in this amazing country.  I am also pleased that my new role leading the Americas business means I can stay engaged with some key Canadian customers and partners moving forward.”  Long said.

The search to find a replacement for Long is underway, said the Microsoft Canada spokesperson. There is no timeline set but the company hopes to have a replacement before Sept. 30th. The source could not confirm if internal Microsoft Canada candidates or external candidates from Canada would be looked at during the search.

One senior channel leader told CDN that this news was disappointing and that the coveted position of president of Microsoft Canada is turning into a revolving door.

Another outside source said the departure of Long will impact Canadian momentum at Microsoft.

Internally, Microsoft Canada has several tremendous leaders but none have previous senior management experience in another region. This is considered one criterion a successful candidate must have to become Microsoft Canada president.

One source suggested to CDN that it’s time for Microsoft to hire an external Canadian executive, similar to when Frank Clegg was hired from IBM Canada.

CDN will be tracking this story, so check back for more updates.

Long, a UK native, took over from Eric Gales in April of 2012. Prior to that, he served as vice-president of corporate accounts for Microsoft’s worldwide small and mid-market solutions and partner group (SM&P) in Seattle.

Before coming to Canada, Long spent 11-years at Microsoft, holding a number of sales, marketing and channel roles. Before joining Microsoft, he spent 10 years at IBM Corp.