TORONTO – It came in a flash just a few days before the Worldwide Partner Conference was about to kick off in Toronto. The resignation of Microsoft COO Kevin Turner essentially removes a layer of management from the company’s operating structure. Then in an equally important decision Gavriella Schuster was named full time worldwide channel chief. She was interim channel chief soon after Phil Sorgen was promoted to run enterprise and partners at Microsoft last May.
Turner did not last long on the open job market. He accepted the CEO role of Chicago-based Citadel Securities, a securities trading company.
CDN has learned from sources inside Microsoft and around the industry that Turner’s role has been streamlined and former Oracle channel chief Judson Althoff will now have increased influence as the commercial lead for the Redmond, Wash.-based company. One source told CDN that “this is the biggest change at Microsoft in the last five years.”
Althoff is taking over Turner’s customary Wednesday morning vision keynote to describe the new operating model and how it will work.
One Microsoft source said Turner’s resignation provided the company with the opportunity to make some organizational changes that would ensure a deeper integrated structure that would encompass all aspects of the company including sales, marketing, services and product development.
In a company email Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “For the past year, Kevin and I have spoken a great deal about the transformation we are enabling our customers to drive. We have come a great distance, and we need to continue to reach for the next level of customer centricity and obsession in everything we do — sales, marketing, services and product development. It’s very important to have “one feedback loop” across all parts of the company with customer value and satisfaction at the center. This means we must operate, learn and continuously improve collectively. To this end, with Kevin’s departure, I have made the decision to more deeply integrate the current SMSG organization into one unified senior leadership team for Microsoft.”
An industry source told CDN that this new will be not only fresh information for the channel partners in attendance at the WPC but also for Microsoft employees as well.
Microsoft Canada President Janet Kennedy told CDN that even she now has just one layer of executive management away from Nadella.
Kennedy has made changes to her own leadership structure in Canada. As was reported by CDN Charlotte Burke is the new SMS&P lead three weeks ago. But new to her direct reporting level is Suzanne Gagliese as services lead. The 14-year veteran of Hewlett-Packard will hold the title of vice president of services for Microsoft Canada. Gagliese was most recently the national vice president of services for Fujitsu Canada.
Going forward Kennedy’s direct reports will be Burke, Gagliese and Chris Berry, the lead for enterprise and partners group.
Additions to the two Data Centres
Kennedy also announced at the WPC 2016 in Toronto kick-off event yesterday that Dynamics CRN Online and Dynamics AX will now be available at the two new data centres in Toronto and Quebec City.
The WPC 2016 in Toronto is the first WPC to be sold out. More than 16,000 attendees have arrived in Canada’s largest city for Microsoft from approximately 135 countries. Also 40 per cent of these attendees are new to the Microsoft partner ecosystem. In that group are 46 compete partners mostly from Amazon Web Services Canada and Google Canada are also at the show. Microsoft Canada is doing a full-court press to win over these channel partners at WPC 2016 which includes a hands-on session with Nadella himself.
Kennedy said at the 2016 Microsoft Impact Awards Sunday afternoon that the focus today is about digital transformation. She said this in general and not specifically referencing the new Microsoft operation structure.
She said that 86 per cent of CEOs are trying to transition into a digital strategy. “If you can envision the possibilities of LinkedIn into our professional services offering; the opportunities are limitless,” she said.
Kennedy added that the total addressable market for Microsoft (if they sold everything in their inventory) would be $500 billion. However, if you include Microsoft and channel partners that number grows to $2 trillion.
“But the total addressable market for digital transformation globally today is $4.5 trillion.”