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Huddleston Joins Twilio

Ron Huddleston is joining cloud communications platform company Twilio as chief partners officer, the San Francisco-based company announced Monday.

Huddleston, who ran Microsoft's One Commercial Partner organization from its creation a year ago until going on what Microsoft officially described as an indefinite family leave two months ago, will be tasked with building out an ecosystem for ISVs, systems integrators and resellers at Twilio, a 10-year-old company that went public in June 2016.

"Ron's experience is unparalleled when it comes to building a thriving partner ecosystem and I look forward to him accelerating Twilio's momentum across all partner business models, geographies, and the enterprise opportunity," Twilio COO George Hu said in a statement. Huddleston helped build a developer-focused channel at Salesforce around AppExchange and previously held senior channel roles at Oracle.

"Twilio has the potential to revolutionize the communications industry in the same way cloud computing redefined the software industry. This is a massive opportunity for all types of partners to build new fast-growing businesses and continue to innovate for their customers across every industry," Huddleston said in the announcement.

The partner and developer evangelism role for Huddleston comes at a key time for Twilio, a 900-person company that is eager to show investors it is broadening its base of partners and customers. Twilio makes platform products that give developers APIs to allow them to embed communications technologies like voice, video, messaging and authentication into their own apps.

The company had a rough November, as investors punished the stock for the first full quarter of declining revenues from Uber. The ride-sharing app company decided last May to take more of the communications functionality of its apps either in-house or to use Twilio competitors in other geographies. Twilio's biggest customers are WhatsApp and Uber, which accounted for 6% and 5% of the company's revenues in the third quarter, respectively.

The danger of customer concentration is expected to be reflected in Twilio's fourth quarter results, which the company releases on Tuesday. Uber had accounted for 17 percent of Twilio revenues in Q4 2016, setting up a tough comparison.

At Microsoft, Gavriella Schuster replaced Huddleston as corporate vice president for One Commercial Partner in December, reporting to Judson Althoff, executive vice president for the Microsoft Worldwide Commercial Business.

Through conversations with Althoff, CEO Satya Nadella and former COO Kevin Turner both before and after he joined the Microsoft Dynamics team in the summer of 2016, Huddleston helped define a new structure for Microsoft's massive channel operation. Starting with the creation of OCP in January 2017, Huddleston integrated developer evangelism much more tightly into partner operations and began work on industry maps/solution maps/catalogs, which are regional lists of go-to partners for different solution areas. The OCP structure also included a major realignment of partner-facing job roles within Microsoft in the areas of build-with, sell-with and go-to-market.

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 12, 2018


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