Microsoft gives Dezen channel chief role

Months after former incumbent left the business, the vendor has made its choice for who will be at the helm of the partner organisation

When Microsoft partners come together at Inspire next week, the one thing that will no longer be a topic of discussion will be who is replacing Rodney Clark as channel boss.

The vendor has announced that long-term staffer Nicole Dezen will take on the newly created title of chief partner officer (CPO) at Microsoft. She will also retain her position as CVP of Global Partner Solutions.

Dezen’s CV stretches over 25 years, with the past 15 being at Microsoft in various leadership roles in the partner side of the business.

The new position gives her oversight of the commercial partner business and Nick Parker, Microsoft’s president of industry and partner sales, shared news of the appointment on a blog post.

“Her new designation as CPO demonstrates our continued investment in our partner strategy and commitment to the importance of the entire partner ecosystem to Microsoft,” said Parker.

“As chief partner officer, Nicole will have singular accountability for the commercial partner business. She will have a tremendous opportunity to lead, innovate and grow our mutual business with partners.”

Dezen steps in to lead a partner organisation that has had some bruising encounters with its channel over recent times, with it recently deciding to do a u-turn over the threat of a block on the auto-renewals of legacy cloud service provider subscriptions.

The vendor will be hoping for a change in the narrative with this fresh appointment and Parker used the blog to restate the importance of partners to Microsoft.

“Our mission in the Global Partner Solutions organisation is to build and sell Microsoft Cloud applications, and services and devices with partners, empowering people and organisations to achieve more,” he wrote. “We will deliver on this with partners across our solution areas and industries, to create new customer value, and you will hear much more about this at Microsoft Inspire.”

Clark, who left the business a couple of months ago, took up a position as VP and chief commercial officer at Johnson Controls at the start of last month.

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