Microsoft Appoints New Channel Chief

Vendor alters channel leadership two weeks before annual partner conference.

Microsoft Corp. said that Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of its U.S. Business and Marketing Organization, will take the reins of the vendor’s Worldwide Partner Group, replacing Allison Watson, who headed that unit for the past eight years.

Roskill takes charge of Microsoft’s channel group on July 1, only two weeks before the vendor’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference, July 11 – 15 in Washington, D.C. His official title will be corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group.

Microsoft said that Roskill’s primary responsibility will be to help the vendor’s channel partners make the most out of new growth opportunities, particularly in areas such as unified communications, virtualization and cloud computing.

Roskill will report to Vahé Torossian, corporate vice president of the Worldwide Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMS&P) Group. Torossian, an 18-year Microsoft veteran, recently joined SMS&P from his previous role running the vendor’s sales, marketing and operations in Central and Eastern Europe.

“Our customers are relying more and more on our partners,” said Kevin Turner, Microsoft chief operating officer.

“Jon deeply understands the critical factors a customer goes through in making IT buying decisions,” Turner said. “He will leverage his depth of knowledge in his new role, and I’m confident he will ensure that our partners continue to win and grow in the marketplace.”

In his prior role, Roskill led marketing campaigns for Windows and Office products and helped to bring the company’s cloud computing platform to market.

Watson to lead strategic business development

Watson will take over Roskill’s former role and report to Robert Youngjohns, senior vice president of North America Sales and Marketing.

She will focus on U.S. marketing and strategic business development, helping customers to take advantage of the vendor’s newest products and understand its cloud computing offerings.

“Over the past eight years, Allison has been instrumental in building the Microsoft ecosystem to the global strength and value that it has today,” Turner said.

“She has built an impressive set of programs and infrastructure to help our partners unlock greater business value with our collective customers, and I know she will bring her worldwide best practices from the partner ecosystem to drive equally impressive results in our largest market, the U.S. subsidiary,” he said.

Both Roskill and Watson will address partners at the conference.

TAGS: cloud computing,Microsoft,channel partners,Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

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