Microsoft has appointed a new top boss to oversee its Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) and Worldwide Partner Group (WPG) branches as it looks to further its "One Microsoft" vision.
In an email sent to WPG members - which has been seen by CRN - Microsoft's channel chief Phil Sorgen (pictured) announced the changes, which will see Microsoft veteran Gavriella Schuster take the newly created job.
In the role of general manager for worldwide MPN, Schuster - who has worked at the vendor for 19 years - will be responsible for the MPN team as well as the WPG marketing and communications team.
She will take charge of the individual organisations - which used to be run by Julie Bennani and Karl Noakes respectively - but the pair will stay on for a while during a transition period, after which Microsoft had no comment as to what they will do next. All teams which used to report to the duo will now do so to Schuster instead.
Sorgen said that both Benanni and Noakes will remain vital to the organisation during the transition.
"They have each played a key role in bringing MPN to its current state, and have set the stage for the next generation of our partner programme," he said.
"Their leadership and keen focus on driving what is best for partners will leave a lasting impact. Julie and Karl will continue to report directly to me, ensuring a successful transition to the new organisation model as well as working on key focus areas critical to our partner business."
Schuster started work in the new role earlier this month, but more changes are expected at the start of next month - the beginning of the vendor's new financial year. From 1 July, Camille Mazo will become WPG business manager and will work along Schuster, also reporting directly to Sorgen.
Mazo has been tasked with "scaling the change-management agenda" across the partner business, Sorgen said in his email.
He added that the recent changes were made with a view to taking the vendor's "One Microsoft" corporate strategy - which ex-chief executive Steve Ballmer masterminded last summer - to the channel.
"As the company continues to deliver on its promise of One Microsoft, we too have an opportunity to ensure alignment to one vision and one direction for MPN," Sorgen wrote in the email.
"Consolidating all aspects of MPN, from programmes and branding to marketing and communications, can drive efficiency in prioritisation and decision making, and help MPN become more nimble and responsive.
"With these changes to our leadership team, I'm confident we have the right strategy and the best people in place to achieve all that we aspire to in FY15 and beyond."
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