Watson Promoted to Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Partner Group

Allison Watson, the former vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner and Small Business Group, has been promoted to corporate vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group, according to information posted on the Microsoft Web site on Wednesday.

Watson, who has responsibility for Microsoft's worldwide strategy for the partner channel, oversees a group that includes more than 120 marketing professionals and 3,000 sales professionals, according to her recently updated executive bio on Microsoft's site.

Clearing the way for Watson's step up is the simultaneous move on Wednesday of Orlando Ayala, to whom Watson previously reported. Ayala, who was senior vice president for Worldwide Small Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMS&P), is now senior vice president in the Emerging Segments Market Development Group.

"This group is charged with spearheading efforts to ensure that Microsoft makes a real, positive difference to people and Governments all around the world as digital inclusion in underserved communities, both in emerging nations and developed countries, becomes an increasing fundamental for economic success in the global economy," Microsoft said of the Emerging Segments Market Development Group on Ayala's updated executive bio. "Microsoft is committed to finding ways to drop the “barrier of entry” in usability and affordability to meet the unique needs of this new set of customers, both in consumer and small business scenarios, and Ayala’s group works closely with other Microsoft teams to make this a reality."

At the same time he was running SMS&P, Ayala served as Chief Operating Officer for the Microsoft Dynamics business. A native of Colombia, Ayala has held a variety of roles at Microsoft since joining in 1991 as the senior director of the Latin America region.

Stepping into Ayala's SMS&P role is Eduardo Rosini, a corporate vice president who was most recently vice president of Microsoft Asia Pacific.

The moves in the worldwide partner organization follow an executive shuffle at the top of the U.S. Partner Group announced in mid-May. In changes that will take effect on Saturday, longtime U.S. Partner Group Vice President Margo Day shifts within the SMS&P to become Regional Vice President for the West Region. (Click here to read Redmond Channel Partner magazine's "Exit Interview" Q&A with Margo from the July issue.)At the same time, Regional Vice President for the East Region, Robert Deshaies, steps in to lead the U.S. Partner Group.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.