Microsoft Taps LinkedIn Veteran Kevin Scott As New Chief Technology Officer

Microsoft Tuesday said it has brought LinkedIn veteran Kevin Scott on board as chief technology officer.

According to the Redmond, Wash.-based company, Scott will drive "strategic, cross-company initiatives to maximize Microsoft's impact with members and customers."

’We are thrilled that Kevin will bring to Microsoft his unique expertise developing platforms and services that empower people and organizations,’ Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. ’Kevin’s first area of focus is to bring together the world’s leading professional network and professional cloud.’

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Scott joined LinkedIn in 2011 as senior vice president of engineering and operations, helping to build out the company's technology team and leading it through an IPO and six years of rapid growth.

Scott was not available to respond to CRN's request for comment. In a press release, he said: " ’I am very optimistic about where Microsoft is headed and how we can continue to use technology to solve some of society’s most important challenges.’

According to Microsoft, which acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in December, Scott's new role as chief technology officer is an expansion of his existing role at LinkedIn as senior vice president of infrastructure. Scott will continue to play an active role at LinkedIn as senior vice president of infrastructure and remain a member of LinkedIn’s executive management team.

Ric Opal, senior director at SWC Technology Partners, a Microsoft partner based in Oak Brook, Ill., was "not surprised" by the new appointment, stressing that the new role marks another attempt by Microsoft to improve the quality of innovation.

"From a channel perspective, there's something that can be learned from this. … Microsoft is attempting to change the DNA of their culture," he said. "The reality here is that [Scott] is coming from a different business model and has a different approach to the market. If you think about LinkedIn, it's a cloud-centric company where the customer experience is huge, and he's bringing a customer-centric view to products. So bringing him to the table marks an infusion of new culture and change at Microsoft."

Prior to his joining LinkedIn, Scott held a number of engineering leadership roles at Google and AdMob. Scott is an adviser to several Silicon Valley startups, an active angel investor and founder of the nonprofit organization Behind the Tech.

The news comes the week of Microsoft's earnings call Thursday.