Microsoft Shakes Up Enterprise Group

The company is about to tweak its enterprise & partner group by replacing Charles Stevens, the executive who has headed that group for the past two years.

Its not public knowledge yet, but Microsoft is about to tweak its enterprise & partner group.

According to an internal memo viewed by Microsoft Watch, the company is replacing Charles Stevens, the executive who has headed that group for the past two years, with an as-yet-undetermined successor.

As of July, Stevens will move to head product marketing, sales and management for Microsoft Senior VP Bob Muglias enterprise storage services group, the May 5 memo said.

According to that document, the organizational tweaks are intended to help propel the company toward achieving the holy grail: a better relationship with its customers. Since he became company president in 1998, CEO Steve Ballmer has been calling publicly for Microsoft employees--from executives on down--to get out and visit customers.

To further its customer mission, the company is moving its Customer Loyalty Group from the enterprise field team to report to Martin Taylor, Microsoft director of business strategy, who reports directly to Ballmer.

Under the reorganization (which Orlando Ayala, group vice president of worldwide sales, marketing and services, outlined to his direct reports and the Microsoft executive team), the enterprise field team will take over vertical-market sales. The global accounts and executive sales teams will continue to report to the enterprise & partner group in the new structure.

Ayalas worldwide sales and marketing group oversees relationships with small, medium and enterprise customers, as well as developers and channel partners. The group includes Microsoft product-support services, the network solutions group, and the enterprise partner group and central marketing organization.

Stevens is a 19-year Microsoft veteran. He has held a variety of positions, including general manager of worldwide business strategy and general manager of the database programmability group. Before joining Microsoft, Stevens was a product manager for Hewlett-Packard Co.s Office Products division.

In his new post in the enterprise storage services unit, Stevens will be working for a division that will be increasingly important to the future of the Redmond, Wash., company. ESS is developing products and strategy for Microsofts forthcoming unified object file system, as well as for forthcoming products in the network-attached storage, storage-area-network and backup software markets.

In his memo, Ayala described the storage area as "a fast growing significant market where there are great opportunities for us (Microsoft) to innovate, save money for customers, and add value to our core platform, while growing a multi-million dollar business very quickly."

Microsoft will be seeking Stevens successor over the next couple of months, according to the memo. One company insider suggested that Brad Goldberg, Microsoft senior director of enterprise .Net server marketing, could be a contender for the position.

Microsoft public relations officials confirmed Stevens reassignment but declined to comment on any other aspect of the memo.

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