Ahead of Inspire, Microsoft Promotes Dezen to Chief Partner Officer

Microsoft on Thursday announced a small reorg of its partner executive ranks, culminating a process that began when former channel chief Rodney Clark announced his departure two months ago.

Nicole Dezen has been named the chief partner officer (CPO) at Microsoft, a new role at the company, while retaining her current title of corporate vice president of Global Partner Solutions.

"As Chief Partner Officer, Nicole will have singular accountability for the commercial partner business," wrote Nick Parker, Microsoft's president of Industry & Partner Sales, in an announcement. "She will have a tremendous opportunity to lead, innovate and grow our mutual business with partners."

Dezen has over two decades of experience in tech sales, 15 of them spent within Microsoft's partner program. Most recently, she was the corporate vice president of Device Partner Sales at Microsoft.

Besides taking the CPO role, Dezen has also appointed two executives to leadership roles in her team, both reporting to her: David Smith is now the vice president of Channel Sales, and Julie Sanford is now the vice president of Partner Go-To-Market (GTM), Programs & Experiences. Both roles are new.

These appointments complete the executive search process that Microsoft began in May, when the aforementioned Clark announced he was stepping down from his role as corporate vice president of Global Channel Sales to join Johnson Controls as vice president and chief commercial officer. At that time, Parker said, "We are actively discussing Rodney's successor and expect to have a new leader in place by the beginning of our new fiscal year in July."

Dezen's appointment to CPO comes less than a week before the 2022 Microsoft Inspire partner conference, which is set to kick off on July 19.

"Our mission in the Global Partner Solutions organization is to build and sell Microsoft Cloud applications, and services and devices with partners, empowering people and organizations to achieve more," Parker said. "We will deliver on this with partners across our solution areas and industries, to create new customer value, and you'll hear much more about this at Microsoft Inspire next week."

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of, and, and the editorial director of Converge360.


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