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Schuster Taking on Major Role in Microsoft Partner Program

Gavriella Schuster, an 18-year Microsoft veteran, will join the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group (WPG) on June 1 in a new position that combines the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) role of Julie Bennani and the partner marketing duties of Karl Noakes, a company spokesperson confirmed Friday.

Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president for the WPG, selected Schuster for the new role in May. Bennani and Noakes continue to report to Sorgen in unspecified roles, including ensuring a smooth transition of their former responsibilities to Schuster, the spokesperson said. The move is designed to gain efficiencies by bringing the MPN and partner marketing teams together, he said.

Schuster's LinkedIn profile describes her as general manager of Worldwide Partner Programs, a new title in the WPG. Her profile describes the role as "Global management of Microsoft's partner recruitment, enablement, marketing and engagement. Responsibilities include Microsoft Partner Network Programs, WPC, Marketing and recruitment programs for ISVs, IP Partners, SIs, and Reselling partners of all types across all Commercial products and customers."

According to her LinkedIn profile, Schuster has been a general manager at Microsoft since 2006 in both the U.S. Server and Tools Business and in the Windows Product Management Group. Her career at Microsoft started in 1995 and has spanned licensing, enterprise services and training. Previous employers included Adobe Systems and Aldus Corp.

Bennani joined Microsoft in 2007 from Accenture, where Microsoft had been one of her major client responsibilities. She started as general manager of the Microsoft Partner Program and was a major architect of the overhaul that resulted in the MPN. Bennani was hired by WPG Corporate Vice President Allison Watson and kept the role through Jon Roskill's tenure as channel chief.

Noakes joined Microsoft in 2006 and held various partner-focused roles in the United Kingdom and at the headquarters in Redmond, Wash., since 2003. Watson promoted him to her be one of her direct reports in July 2009.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM