Cloud News

Nicole Dezen’s New Job And The Latest Microsoft Channel Leader Changes: 5 Things To Know

Wade Tyler Millward

Microsoft makes channel leadership changes, including promoting Nicole Dezen. Here’s what partners need to know.

Microsoft has made changes to its channel leadership, giving longtime employee Nicole Dezen the title of chief partner officer and corporate vice president of the Global Partner Solutions organization.

This title was formerly held by Nick Parker, who has been promoted to president of the Industry & Partner Sales (IPS) organization, according to Microsoft. Dezen will report to Parker.


The news comes ahead of Microsoft Inspire, which will be held online Tuesday and Wednesday. Unlike other tech conferences, which have returned in person or done a mix of live and online events, Microsoft held Inspire entirely online as the world continues to grapple with COVID-19. Dezen and Parker are set to speak during Inspire.

CRN has reached out to Microsoft for comment.

Phil Walker, CEO of Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Microsoft partner Network Solutions Provider – a member of CRN’s Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 – told CRN in an interview that he looks forward to learning more about how Dezen will approach the role.

“I hope she includes minority MSPs in her plans and … enhances growth plans for all partners,” Walker said.

Bobby Guerra, CEO of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Microsoft partner Axiom Tech, told CRN in an interview that his recommendation to Dezen as she enters the new role is to “take a real tour and walk a mile in our shoes.”

He said it’s important for Microsoft channel leadership to understand the effect partner program changes have to partners in the field and in real time to avoid frustrations experienced during this year’s roll out of new commerce experience and the partner capability scores.

“Most executives make decisions not even seeing what the MPN (Microsoft Partner Network, soon to be rechristened the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program) portal looks like,” he said. They “don’t have first-hand knowledge of what they are changing and what the true effect will be to those of us who have boots on the ground.”

Other new channel chiefs named recently include Zoom Video Communications channel chief Todd Surdey, IBM channel chief Kate Woolley and Amazon Web Services channel chief Ruba Borno.

* Nicole Dezen: New Chief Partner Officer

* Nick Parker: New President Of Industry & Partner Sales

* David Smith: New VP Of Channel Sales

* Rodney Clark Decamped In May

* Inspire On Tuesday

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at

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