What Comes Next For Microsoft’s Gavriella Schuster

‘Microsoft has given me the opportunity and the freedom to chart the course for my future, and so I’m incredibly grateful and I plan to focus much more of my time on driving for that inclusive workforce,’ former Microsoft partner chief Gavriella Schuster tells CRNtv.

It’s been just under a month since Microsoft picked 23-year Microsoft veteran Rodney Clark as its new corporate vice president of global channel sales, a move that Microsoft’s former channel chief Gavriella Schuster told CRNtv she’s very excited about.

Here’s a look at some of CRNtv’s virtual interview with Schuster about her transition from Microsoft channel chief to engaging in work that fuels her passion, as well as welcoming Clark to take on her former role:

So can you talk about the backstory behind your decision?

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So I’ve been with Microsoft for the last 25 years and this is my fourteenth role in that 25 years, and absolutely the one where I have stayed in in this role for the longest. It is because I have loved it so much.

I pride myself on being a transformational leader. I focus on businesses when they are at an inflection point, whether it’s a new business startup, or it’s a time to revitalize a lagging business within Microsoft, and that’s really what I built my whole career on.

And then when I’ve done that and I realize, ‘Jeez, the next thing I have to do is something I feel like I kind of did already’ that’s when I know it’s time to move on.

So the key to my success and the reason I’ve been able to run a marathon for the last 25 years is that I do recognize when I feel like this is may be not growing me and I’m not learning something new again, and I recognize what is the next passion; what is the next thing I want to go build.

And so, I feel like I really did do what I set out to do, laying the foundation for success and it’s time for me to tackle the next big, kind of impossible problem.

Which leads me to my next question — now what comes next?

So there’s a number of things that come next for me. I am in this role for the foreseeable future because I have committed to really make sure that Rodney gets off to a very strong and successful start, so that will take many months so I’m very committed to just making sure that we do that well.

And then Microsoft has given me the opportunity and the freedom to chart the course for my future, and so I’m incredibly grateful and I plan to focus much more of my time on driving for that inclusive workforce.

We started a number of efforts already with the inclusive economy, and we’ve also kicked off our work around the African American and Black communities as well as the work that I do for women in technology and the women in cloud.

So I intend to continue with all of those efforts and then also to shape the next generation of technology leaders around that, and then I’m going to bring forward also my engagement with the partners, the ally ships that we have built and then help them continue to build their business and build their businesses in a way that drives that inclusive economy, diversity and sustainability for the future.

And why do you think Clark is ready for this role? As he pointed out in an exclusive interview with CRN’s Donna Goodison that he always envisioned himself in this role, where he can be that face of Microsoft to the channel and help continue to drive transformation.

So like me, Rodney really loves to dig in and understand how to build those partnerships and that’s what fuels his passion. And so, what he sees as the opportunity to really help our partners think about how they bring the breadth of Microsoft’s portfolio out to the market in a way that will really benefit and value the customer.

And I was like, ‘Wow, you’ve been thinking about this for a decade that’s a long time, right?’ I knew that we had been talking about it for at least the last three years, and I think that as he’s been working in IoT it has only fueled his passion for sitting down and really helping partners to fine tune how they think about the market and the market opportunity.

Tune in to CRNtv to hear more from Schuster about what the channel can expect from Clark in the coming months in his new role.