Microsoft Shuffles SMS&P Exec Team As 22-Year Vet Nyheim Departs


Geoff Nyheim, Microsoft's vice president of worldwide Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMS&P) corporate accounts and partner sales, is leaving next month after 22 years with the company, CRN has learned.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed Nyheim's departure Thursday. Jennifer Heard, the Paris-based vice president of Microsoft's SMS&P Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) unit, will take over for Nyheim as vice president of worldwide corporate accounts on Sept. 9, the spokesperson said.

[Related: Microsoft Taps New Worldwide Support VP As 9-Year Vet Gordon Departs]

Nyheim is the latest longtime executive to depart amid Microsoft's ongoing shift to a devices and services focus. As CRN reported last week, Barbara Gordon, a 9-year veteran who's been Microsoft's vice president of worldwide support since 2009, is leaving Sept. 4. Taking her place is Kirsten Kliphouse, vice president of Microsoft's U.S. East Region Enterprise & Partner Group.

Nyheim has held a number of roles since joining Microsoft as an account executive in 1991. He spent a year as general manager of global partners and alliances, two-and-a-half years as general manager of the U.S. Midwest district, and more than six years as vice president of the U.S. central region enterprise unit, according to his LinkedIn profile.

This last role was a big one, as it encompassed 18 states, 1,000 customers -- including 22 of the Fortune 50 -- and $2.5 billion in revenue, according to Nyheim's LinkedIn profile.

Nyheim couldn't be reached for comment on what he'll be doing next.

Nyheim has been "a rock solid performer" for Microsoft over the years, one Microsoft partner who has worked with him told CRN, speaking on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to speak about Microsoft's internal affairs.

As Microsoft reshapes its organizational structure around devices and services, Nyheim may have decided to seek an opportunity elsewhere, the source speculated. "There's new leadership all over the place, and there are people who've been with Microsoft a long time who are saying, 'I'm done enjoying the cruise and now I'm going to relinquish my deck chair," said the source.

Heard's appointment is part of a significant reshuffling of Microsoft's channel ranks. On Thursday, Microsoft replaced Jon Roskill, its channel chief for the past three years, with Phil Sorgen, a 17-year Microsoft veteran who's been leading the U.S. SMS&P unit since 2009.

Heard, who joined Microsoft in 1996 as a systems engineer, has been running Microsoft's SMS&P business in EMEA since 2011, reporting to Vahe Torossian, corporate vice president for SMS&P worldwide.

PUBLISHED AUG. 30, 2013