Microsoft Shuffles US Partner Management

In a short note announcing what it called four US partner group leadership changes, Microsoft said Day is taking a job as regional vice president of the West Region in Microsoft's Small and Mid-Market Solutions and Partners (SMS&P) organization field. Microsoft said Day will "put her passion for partners and customers to work accelerating the adoption of our platform in the field."

Robert Deshaies, a 12 year Microsoft veteran who is currently regional Vice President of East Region SMS&P organization, will take the reins of the US Partner Group. "It's a little shocking," said Martin Tarr, CEO of Tiburon Technologies, an Independence Ohio Microsoft partner.

"It looks like a giant step sideways for Margo, who has been the face of Microsoft to the channel for five years. We have come to know and trust Margo and we look forward to finding out more about her replacement. I am sure she will do well in her next endeavor."

Tarr said the leadership changes come with his Microsoft business on the upswing. He said improvements in Microsoft's platform software with regard to reliability and performance are enticing customers to move applications from the mainframe to the .Net Framework.

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Microsoft also announced that Matt Pease, regional vice president of West Region is becoming Region Vice President, Services, and Dave Willis, Vice President, SMS&P, Microsoft Canada Co., has a new role as Regional Vice President of East Region.

Microsoft said the changes were aimed at "cross-pollinating the organization with expertise and experience."

Pete Busam, vice president and COO of Decisive Business Systems, a Pennsauken, New Jersey Microsoft partner, said he was not shocked by the sudden changes given the propensity of many vendors to suddenly reorganize.

"Nothing shocks me anymore the way these organizations shift around executives," he said. "How many executives has Microsoft moved around over the last six months? It's hard to say what their strategy is going to be right now and why they are moving executives around."

Busam hopes Microsoft's new US partner boss will allow existing partners that have “built and nurtured” longtime accounts to sell Microsoft Select and Enterprise agreements. That licensing matter has been an issue for a number of partners.

Still other partners think that Day may come back at a higher level. "I think at some point, Margo could head up worldwide partners, a job that Allison Watson has had for some time," said one long-time partner.

Barbara Darrow contributed to this report.