Microsoft Taps New Worldwide Support VP As 9-Year Vet Gordon Departs


Barbara Gordon, Microsoft's vice president of worldwide customer support, is departing next month after nearly a decade with the company, CRN has learned.

Gordon will be leaving Microsoft Sept. 4, and she'll be replaced by Kirsten Kliphouse, vice president of Microsoft's U.S. East Region Enterprise & Partner Group, a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email.

"We wish her the best, and thank her for her contributions," the Microsoft spokesperson said.

One source familiar with the matter said Gordon is going to EMC, but that couldn't be independently confirmed. EMC declined to comment, citing company policy of not commenting on rumors or speculation.

[Related: Get Your Popcorn Ready: Microsoft's Search For New CEO Is Under Way]

Gordon joined Microsoft in 2003 as vice president of global accounts. She's been running Microsoft's worldwide customer support since 2009.

Before coming to Microsoft, Gordon spent 19 years at Sun Microsystems and at one point was chief of staff for Scott McNealy, Sun's chairman, president and CEO. Later, Gordon was vice president of worldwide software sales under Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's executive vice president of software.

In a 2011 Youtube video, Gordon explained her philosophy toward customer service. "Our job is to be the 'canary in the coal mine' for Microsoft, to make sure we're bringing the voice of the customer into the company," Gordon said in the video.

In 2010, Gordon made headlines by calling out Google for its spotty record in customer support. "When was the last time you called Google for help recovering a lost Google Doc? Were you even able to find a number? My guess is, no," Gordon said in a blog post at the time.

In 2009, Gordon told Cnet that Microsoft wasn't getting nearly as many support calls for Windows 7 as it did for previous versions of Windows. Part of the reason, she said, was that Microsoft had started supporting customers through online forums and Twitter.

It's safe to say Gordon's job became a lot more complex, however, after the major user interface changes Microsoft introduced with Windows 8.

Kliphouse, in her Enterprise & Partner Group role, led a team "accountable for delivering business-critical, technology solutions to 1,500 of Microsoft's largest commercial customers within a 19-state geography," according to her Microsoft bio page.

According to Kliphouse's LinkedIn profile, she joined Microsoft in 2006 as general manager of its OEM division, and in 2008 became vice president of enterprise sales and partners.

PUBLISHED AUG. 26, 2013