It's Official: Microsoft Taps 17-Year Vet Guthrie To Head Cloud And Enterprise Unit


Microsoft on Monday tapped 17-year veteran Scott Guthrie to lead its Cloud and Enterprise unit, one of the company's biggest moneymakers with $20.3 billion in fiscal 2013 revenue.

Guthrie, who was named interim head of the Cloud and Enterprise unit in February, is now its executive vice president. The unit was known as the Server and Tools division until Microsoft's corporate reorganization last July.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the appointment official in an email to employees on Monday, describing Guthrie as a "very public and passionate evangelist" for Microsoft's developer and infrastructure businesses.

[Related: Sources: Microsoft In Talks To Acquire Mobile App Development Startup Xamarin ]

Guthrie is the second Microsoft longtimer to ascend to the executive ranks this month, joining 23-year veteran Chris Capossela, who was named executive vice president and chief marketing officer in early March.

Guthrie joined Microsoft as a program manager straight out of college in 1997, and his first big promotion came in 1999 when he was tapped to head the team that created ASP.NET. In  that role, Guthrie "personally designed core parts of the .NET Framework," according to his LinkedIn profile.

Andrew Brust, CEO of Microsoft analyst firm Blue Badge Insights, based in New York, recalls meeting Guthrie around that time during a briefing on ASP.NET, which was still a fledgling web development platform.

Guthrie faced a skeptical audience in his demo of new features in ASP.NET 2.0. Some developers wanted more features, while others were concerned that the new release of ASP.NET would take a bite out of their consulting work because it automated some code-intensive tasks, Brust said.

But Guthrie handled the heat in impressive fashion, according to Brust. "He was intelligent and humble, yet held his own quite well with a tough audience," he said.

Over the years, Guthrie has been an advocate inside Microsoft for such important moves as including open source components in the ASP.NET stack, and eventually sharing the .NET Framework source code itself.

Guthrie has had a similarly positive effect in his previous role as head of Azure, Brust said. "I’ve seen him come into the Azure organization, whip it into shape, rationalize its product offerings and greatly accelerate the rate of innovation there," he told CRN.

NEXT: Guthrie's Azure Leadership Set The Stage