Microsoft Execs: Who's Who?

It's been a year of change and turnover among partner-facing Microsoft executives. Here's an org chart for partners.

When it comes to Microsoft partner-facing executives, 2010 has been a remarkably tumultuous year.

In the Worldwide Partner Group, Allison Watson took a lateral transfer after nearly eight years in the role of the Microsoft global channel chief. One of the longest and most stable tenures in the channel came to an end, although Microsoft's move to have Watson and her replacement, Jon Roskill, trade positions with each inheriting the other's staff has lent some stability to what was universally received by partners as a surprising move. That attempt at stability was probably smart on the parts of more senior Microsoft executives, given the far more tumultuous changes affecting all Microsoft partners in the form of the new Microsoft Partner Network and Microsoft's "all-in" emphasis on steering partners toward new cloud-based business models.

There's been less stability over the years in the U.S. Partner Group, which has had four different executives in the last five years -- although coleadership positions have made the situation more stable than that number makes it sound. This year, Microsoft split the U.S. Partner Group into two different groups, with each of the leaders -- Cindy Bates and Jennifer Flinders -- heading up a different group within Phil Sorgen's U.S. Small and Mid-market Solutions & Partners.

The close of the year seems like a good time to take stock of who's who among partner-facing Microsoft executives. We haven't tried to point out who's who across the entire organization. (Those wall posters from Directions on Microsoft do a great job of that.) Instead, we've just focused on the most partner-centric groups with a lot of recent change, and we've included Phil Sorgen's group, in which both Bates' and Flinders' organizations are embedded, for context.

About the Author

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