Microsoft Taps IBM Executive to Run Worldwide Services

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In a move that continues the company's growing emphasis on IT services, Microsoft on Tuesday appointed former IBM Global Services executive Michael Sinneck as its new vice president for worldwide services, replacing longtime Microsoft executive Robert McDowell, who helped build the company's consulting business.

Sinneck, a 32-year IBM veteran, most recently served as vice president for business operations at IBM Global Services Americas, the industry's largest IT services company. Microsoft says Sinneck will be responsible for strengthening the company's integrated consulting services and product support organization, as well as enhancing partner relationships. Microsoft's worldwide services organization was created last spring in order to integrate the operations of Microsoft Consulting Services and Product Support Services.

Sinneck was unavailable for comment but did issue the following statement: "Microsoft's vision for XML Web services built on the Microsoft .NET Platform is the new benchmark for creating agility in the enterprise and helping customers realize their potential. The worldwide services organization, in conjunction with Microsoft's valued partner community, is committed to providing the services and support necessary to help customers build, deploy and support end-to-end solutions across a range of businesses."

The executive change creates some instability in the ranks of Microsoft, which has been in the process of addressing several partner-related issues, including channel conflict with Microsoft Consulting Services. Microsoft officials said prior to the holidays that rules of engagement for MCS as it relates to channel partners would be announced soon, but the release of any rules or guidelines concerning channel sales appears to have been pushed back now that McDowell has stepped down as head of worldwide services for Microsoft.

Microsoft says McDowell will continue to work in the services organization, helping Sinneck make the transition into his new role. He will remain a vice president and "move into another customer-focused role where he will provide continued support to Microsoft's enterprise sales effort," according to the company.

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