Microsoft Shuffles Channel Executives

By Carolyn April  |  Print this article Print

Robert Deshaies is out as vice president of U.S. Partner Business Development and Sales and will be replaced by nine-year Microsoft veteran Jenni Flinders

Less than a week before kicking off its annual Worldwide Partner Conference along with a new fiscal year, Microsoft is shuffling the executive deck in its channel organization.

Most notable of the changes involves Robert Deshaies, who will be leaving his role as vice president of U.S. Partner Business Development and Sales, according to a statement issued by Microsoft. Deshaies has been one of the more visible Microsoft channel executives among solution providers. Based on a statement released late Tuesday night it’s unclear what his new role at the company will entail and for how long it will last.

"For the next couple of months, Robert will be focusing on a key strategic initiative for the Microsoft US Leadership Team," read the statement

Deshaies will be replaced by Jenni Flinders, a nine-year Microsoft veteran who most recently served as general manager of the channel incentive and transaction channel within the company’s Worldwide Partner Group. Flinder has played a variety of roles at the software company, including two global positions; one developing marketing and sales strategy for SMB in South Africa, the other serving as regional role lead with Microsoft Latin America responsible for midmarket customer business and channel sales groups. She has also done a stint as Microsoft channel chief Allison Watson’s chief of staff.

For her part, Watson remains at the helm of Microsoft’s worldwide partner organization, despite perennial speculation about her taking on another role in the company and who her channel successor will be.

The company announced several other executive changes:

    Allen Boone will take Flinders place as lead of the Channel Incentives team. Boone is a 12-year veteran of the company, but is new to the channel team. Previously he worked in the Server & Tools Business Group developing pricing and new business models for Microsoft’s Software + Services initiatives. Partners have been clamoring for information about how they realistically make money – recurring revenue to be specific – from Microsoft’s version of the SaaS model.

    Karl Noakes is joining Watson’s leadership team as part of the effort to focus more channel efforts around partner types such as those doing Web design and development, customer developers and ISVs.

    Caroline Goles, who previously worked in the Worldwide Partner Group’s Channel Incentives team, comes aboard as Watson’s new chief of staff

The Worldwide Partner Conference takes place next week in New Orleans, where Microsoft will unveil a number of initiatives aimed at helping its partners run their businesses better, according to Julie Bennani, general manager of the Microsoft Partner Program.



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