Microsoft Midmarket Chief Resigns


Lauer, vice president for worldwide midmarket in Microsoft's Small and Midsize Solutions and Partner Group (SMS&P), will leave the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant within the next few weeks, Microsoft said.

His new venture will target Microsoft CRM at midsize customers. No additional details on Lauer's plans were available.

Lauer, who reports to SMS&P Corporate Vice President Eduardo Rosini, assumed the midmarket post two years ago. He worked for Microsoft from 1990 to 1997, left to pursue a computer science degree at the University of Washington and then rejoined Microsoft.

Davide Vigano, a 19-year Microsoft veteran and the general manager of the worldwide midsize solutions team, will take over as the acting leader of the midmarket group. Vigano has served as SMS&P general manager since May 2005.

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Lauer's pending exit is the latest executive departure at Microsoft. On Tuesday, Microsoft named corporate vice president Satya Nadella to replace outgoing MBS chief Doug Burgum and recently announced the departure of longtime Windows client development chief Brian Valentine for a post at A major organizational shakeup of the Office group is also expected.

Before taking the midmarket role at Microsoft, Lauer served as vice president of the company's Far East operation, reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In that capacity, he was responsible for Microsoft's operations in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan and oversaw all sales, marketing, product support and consulting activities.

Early in his career, Lauer lived in Taipei, Taiwan, where he played professional basketball and worked for a small trading company. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, Microsoft said.

During his two-year tenure as midmarket chief, Microsoft enhanced its Open Value licensing program for midsize businesses and devised a plan to offer midmarket-tailored products, such as the Windows Server 2003-based marketing bundle and Centro, the code name for an integrated midmarket solution based on the upcoming "Longhorn" Windows Server.