New Assignments for Microsoft U.S. Channel Chiefs

Bates leads new SMB organization; Flinders takes all of U.S. Partner Group.

Microsoft Vice Presidents Cindy Bates and Jenni Flinders, joint chiefs of the U.S. channel for the last year, moved into new roles at the beginning of theMicrosoft FY 2011 in July.

Bates, formerly vice president of U.S. Partner Strategy, Marketing and Programs, will now head a newly created organization as vice president of the U.S. Small, Medium Business and Distribution organization.

Flinders, formerly VP of U.S. Partner Sales and Business Development, becomes vice president of the U.S. Partner Sales and Programs Group (PS&P) -- essentially returning the position of U.S. channel chief to a one-person job again for the first time since mid-2008.

In an internal e-mail, Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president of U.S. Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners, characterized the changes as necessary to address the market.

"The SMB customer segment is an incredibly competitive market, with our traditional competitors doubling down their efforts and the rapid growth of 'cloud based offerings' introducing new competition," Sorgen wrote. "It's important that we align ourselves internally so that we can have a laser focus externally on this segment."

Bates' organization will "bring together our end-to-end SMB sales and marketing efforts to accelerate our momentum in this important segment," Sorgen wrote. "This [organization] will be the primary voice of our SMB Business and Distribution/VAR channel," his e-mail said.

Due to the move, Sorgen said he expanded Flinders' charter to lead the U.S. PS&P.

"The PS&P organization is a national team focused on driving strategy and execution across all 'cross-subsidiary' partner efforts," Sorgen's e-mail said. "This team will be the primary voice for our broad channel ecosystem in the [United States]."

"Microsoft isn't at the top on vulnerabilities and exceptions anymore. No. 1 is Apple. No. 2 is Oracle. They can have that first place mantle all they want, as it relates to defects and vulnerabilities. That's the only thing we're going to give them."

Kevin Turner, COO, Microsoft, at the 2010 Worldwide Partner Conference

Bates' direct reports include Rob Sonderman, Business Operations; Gina Jackson, Business Coordinator; Marc Monday, Distribution Sales; Benny Madrid, SMB-Regional GM West; Liz Siver (Acting), SMB-Regional GM Central; Kim Tubbs-Herron, SMB-Regional GM East; Eric Martorano, SMB Channel Strategy, Marketing, Online Services; Josh Waldo, SMB Solution Partner & Customer Marketing; Dave Waldrop, SMB Business Development; Rex Bloesser, SMB Retail; and TJ DiCaprio, SMB Branding Content Strategy.

Flinders' direct reports include Brenda Shamon, Business Operations; Katie McGifford, Assistant; Kristi Schwartz, Partner Programs & Incentives; Sherry Willman, LAR/DMR; Deb Patterson, Dell; Lynne Frankel, CDW; Pat Schlight, Managed ISV; and Jennifer Jobin, NSI.

About the Author

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