Two at the Top

Deshaies, Bates to split duties for Microsoft's U.S. partners.

Microsoft partners in the United States now have two vice presidents rather than one looking after them.

Until July 1, Robert Deshaies was vice president of the U.S. Partner Group, a job he held for two years. Now, that job has been split into two positions. That decision reflects the fast-growing number of smaller Microsoft partners as well as the desire to have different executives focus on the very different needs of various types of partners, according to a Microsoft spokesperson who revealed the organizational change as the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) opened in Houston in early July. (For RCP's extensive coverage of the WPC, visit; we'll also analyze other conference announcements in future issues.)

Emphasis on Growth
Deshaies' new title is vice president of U.S. Partner Business Development & Sales. Meanwhile, Cindy Bates has moved up into the role of vice president of Partner Strategy, Marketing & Programs.

Deshaies' position will involve recruiting and overseeing growth for Microsoft's nationally managed partners. That category includes national systems integrators, ISVs, distributors, value-added distributors, LARs and Certified Partner Learning Solutions companies. It's a lateral move from his former role as vice president of the U.S. Partner Group, a post he picked up from Margo Day in an executive shuffle two years ago. The new job also plays to his strengths as a manager and recruiter of strategic partners in the Microsoft revenue mix.

Engaging with Newcomers
For Bates, the change represents a step up from her former job as general manager of Microsoft's U.S. Small Business Group, which she's built over the past four years. Microsoft defines Bates' new role as "enabling and supporting Microsoft's expanding partner ecosystems with an emphasis on driving partner profitability and satisfaction."

A big part of Bates' role will be engaging with newer types of partners, such as Web agencies and other non-traditional Microsoft Partner Program members.

Both Deshaies and Bates report to Michael Park, corporate vice president of the U.S. Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners Group at Microsoft.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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