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Former Microsoft Channel Executive Huddleston Dies

Ron Huddleston, a senior channel executive at several high-profile technology companies, including Microsoft, where he was a central figure in the major channel reorganization last year, died on Friday.

Huddleston's current professional role was chief partner officer at Twilio, the San Francisco-based cloud communications platform company.

"Twilio is heartbroken over the loss of Ron Huddleston, a dear friend, respected colleague and leader who passed away Friday morning," Twilio said in an e-mailed statement. "Ron joined Twilio to lead the partner organization earlier this year and has made an indelible impact on the organization and team here at Twilio. He is already and will continue to be greatly missed. We hold Ron and his family in our thoughts."

Huddleston's assignment since joining Twilio in February had been building out an ecosystem of ISVs, systems integrators and resellers for the 10-year-old company. Three months ago, he unveiled the launch of Twilio Build. That Twilio partner program combined his professional passions of enabling partners and creating marketplaces, which was his specialty at Salesforce.com and took up much of his attention while he was at Microsoft.

Ron Huddleston at the 2017 Microsoft Inspire conference.

Judson Althoff, executive vice president for the Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft, was Huddleston's supervisor at Microsoft until last December. In a LinkedIn post, Althoff called Huddleston friendly, open and optimistic.

"I learned over the weekend that my long-time friend, Ron Huddleston, passed away. Ron was young, and his death untimely," Althoff wrote. "Ron and I worked together at both Microsoft and Oracle, and he also held leadership roles at Salesforce.com. For as long as I have known Ron, one thing was always clear: He was passionate about his work, especially the cultivation and nurturing of relationships with partners. He spent more than 20 years dedicated to partner success, helping partners grow and partner ecosystems thrive."

Huddleston's tenure at Microsoft was relatively brief, but left significant organizational marks.

He started at Microsoft before his first days on the Microsoft Dynamics team in the summer of 2016 via phone conversations with Althoff. In a 2017 interview with RCP, Huddleston explained how those conversations, as well as talks with CEO Satya Nadella and former CEO Kevin Turner, helped define a new structure for Microsoft's channel.

Those plans started taking concrete shape in January 2017 with the formation of One Commercial Partner (OCP), a new organization to which Huddleston was named corporate vice president.

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 re-alignment of partner-facing job roles within Microsoft in the areas of build-with, sell-with and go-to-market. The OCP partner management job role changes took place against a backdrop of a broad and tumultuous reorganization of Microsoft's worldwide field organization in the summer of 2017. Huddleston went on an indefinite family leave from Microsoft in December 2017.

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 02, 2018 at 2:49 PM


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