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Microsoft Veterans Among New Execs at SkyKick

Fresh off a recent round of investment, channel-focused Office 365 migration project automation specialist SkyKick is expanding its management team to accelerate North American growth and drive into new markets internationally.

The Seattle-based startup and a 2013 Microsoft Partner of the Year winner is adding three senior executives -- Steve Bonilla as COO, Peter Labes as vice president of business development and Eric Jewett as vice president of international operations. The executive additions, being announced Monday, follow a $3 million round of private equity and angel investor funding announced in late July.

"We have a strong bench around product development," said Todd Schwartz, co-CEO of SkyKick, in an interview. "By adding some industry veterans, this will help us in some areas that up until this point we haven't invested in."

Bonilla most recently was COO at Spiraledge and also held senior positions at Accenture and Digital Impact. "What we thought was very important as we build this company for the long term is we wanted to hire a COO with hardcore operational experience and experience in building companies from small to big," Schwartz said.

SkyKick picked up Labes and Jewett from Microsoft, where SkyKick co-founders Schwartz and co-CEO Evan Richman came from.

Labes was most recently senior cloud strategy lead for the Microsoft U.S. SMB Channel Group. Richman said Labes' experience with building the Office 365 business through the U.S. channel and previous channel-based business development experience with Sage Software make him a strong fit for SkyKick's ongoing channel-centric ambitions.

"There's a lot of change happening in the channel as the cloud is coming. [He's going to help] us work with those different partners and continue to support the channel in the best way possible," Richman said.

Eric Jewett, one of three new senior executives at SkyKick, is tasked with driving a new international expansion initiative for the Office 365 migration project automation specialist.

Jewett had several international roles at Microsoft, including worldwide director for Microsoft Azure Enterprise Sales Strategy, senior director of Microsoft Azure for Western Europe and worldwide director of Windows Server and Virtualization Marketing.

SkyKick's international strategy is to build the business first in other English speaking countries, like the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and branch out from there, Schwartz and Richman said.

The executive expansion reflects overall employee growth at SkyKick. When announcing the $3 million in new funding over the summer, SkyKick unveiled plans to double the company's headcount from 40 people to 80 employees over the next year.

Schwartz says SkyKick's buildout is only beginning. "Only 7 percent of SMBs have moved to the cloud over the last three years. We're still very much in the early days. This is only year three of probably a 10-to-15-year journey."

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Posted by Scott Bekker on October 20, 2014 at 5:29 AM