Microsoft's “channel chief” position will now become two rules as the company makes a mid-July organizational shuffle. Specifically, former channel chief Rodney Clark is leaving the role and will be replaced by two execs that are currently at Microsoft.
In an announcement, Microsoft revealed Nicole Denzen is now the Chief Partner Officer (CPO), and will continue as Corporate Vice President of Global Partner Solutions. However, she will not the be sole channel chief moving forward.
Microsoft explains the situation in the blog post:
“The channel chief role, previously held by Rodney Clark, will be split into two distinct leadership roles; one of which will be directly tied to sales with our channel partners and led by David Smith, new VP Channel Sales; and the other led by Julie Sanford, VP GTM, Programs and Experiences, with direct accountability for programs and offerings. The decision to evolve what formerly had been a single role into two distinct areas of responsibility is a reflection of the growing importance and breadth of our partner ecosystem all-up. “
David Smith was previously the Vice President of Microsoft's U.S. Partner division. As for Julie Sanford, she was the Vice President of Go-to-Market and Programs for Microsoft's Global Partner Solutions.
Clark announced he was leaving as channel chief and Microsoft s a whole earlier this year to take a role outside the company. He had been with Microsoft for nearly 25 years but had only held the channel chief position since March 2021.
The shuffle comes just a week ahead of the 2022 Microsoft Inspire event. Like all Microsoft conferences at the moment, the Inspire partner event will be completely virtual. It is also – as always – the first major conference of Microsoft's fiscal year (starting July 1).
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