Microsoft Enterprise sales chief Simon Witts resigns, internal e-mail says

Microsoft Enterprise sales chief Simon Witts resigns, internal e-mail says

Summary: Simon Witts, Microsoft's Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group chief, has resigned from the company, according to a short internal e-mail announcing his departure.


As first reported by Business Insider on August 30, 18-year Microsoft veteran and head of its Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group team, Simon Witts is leaving the company.

According to the email about Witts' departure from Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, Witts is resigning "by mutual agreement." Microsoft is actively seeking a replacement for Witts.

Here's a copy of that terse Turner "Announcement" e-mail, shared with me by one of my contacts:

From: Kevin Turner Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 12:40 P.M. To: Worldwide Country Managers; Field Governance Council Members; Field Governance Council Members Ext.; EPG Worldwide All; WW Public Sector ALL FTE Cc: Kevin Turner Direct Reports Subject: Announcement

I wanted to let you know about a change in the leadership of our WW EPG team. By mutual agreement, Simon Witts has decided to resign from Microsoft. I would like to thank Simon for his leadership of our WW EPG team over the past eight years and for his contribution to our company over the past 18 years.

We are actively seeking a replacement for Simon and are looking internally and externally to attract a high caliber talent for what is one of the best sales jobs in the IT industry. In the interim, effective immediately, both Linda Zecher and Susan Hauser will report directly to me, with Linda on point for Public Sector, and Susan in charge of WW EPG.

I have huge confidence in Susan, Linda and their teams, and I know I can count on all of you to keep focused, keep winning and make FY12 a year we can all be proud of.



Witts' departure seems rather sudden, given just a week ago his name appeared in a press release announcing a Microsoft Office 365 customer win. (Anyone out there have the back story here?)

The Enterprise and Partner Group (EPG), which Witts ran for eight years, works with partners to sell to nearly 10,000 of the company's largest global customers. EPG works with all kinds of partners, including systems integrators, independent software vendors and Microsoft Dynamics partners.

There have been a few other recent personnel and title changes at Microsoft worth noting:

Derek Burney has a new, bigger title. The Corporate Vice President for Office Data and Business Intelligence also now is listed as the Corporate VP for Lync, as well. According to his new bio, his "responsibilities include development of Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access, as well as enriching the business intelligence capabilities in Microsoft SharePoint and Office client, server, and Web service offerings."

Eduardo Rosini's corporate bio was finally update to note that he is now Corporate Vice President of the SQL Server Marketing group at Microsoft. The 19-year Microsoft veteran most recently was vice president of the Small and Medium Business Solutions and Partners Group.

Windows veteran Chuck Chan, who worked on LAN Man back when he joined Microsoft in 1989, is now the Corporate Vice President, Windows Devices and Networking Technologies. Most recently, Chan ran the program management team for core operating system technologies as part of the Windows 7 release.

Topics: Enterprise Software, CXO, IT Employment, Software, Operating Systems, Microsoft, Government US, Government, Data Centers, Collaboration, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Relating to DELL?

    just thinking?
    • RE: Microsoft Enterprise sales chief Simon Witts resigns, internal e-mail says

      going somewhere or going to another fence.....
  • When the going gets tough?

    The tough get going? :/

    Or might he be at his Witts' end?
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • RE: Microsoft Enterprise sales chief Simon Witts resigns, internal e-mail says

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate That was just...bad.
  • Didn't take long

    Gosling leaves Google and nary a peep. Yet the chicken littles come out and show someone's career change as the sign of the apocalypse
    Your Non Advocate
  • RE: Microsoft Enterprise sales chief Simon Witts resigns, internal e-mail says

    "By mutual agreement" means he didn't jump... he was pushed. With sales execs, this is almost always for the simplest of reasons: he wasn't making his numbers. Less likely, but possible, is that there's some strategic realignment of EPG in the works and Witts was choosing not to be a team player about it.

    No harm, though. If he's been at Microsoft for 18 years, he has seven or eight figures in the bank.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Microsoft Enterprise sales chief Simon Witts resigns, internal e-mail says

      @Robert Hahn ... indeed. After 18 years, you only resign for three reasons:

      1) You're not performing anymore and people have noticed.
      2) You're unhappy about changes being made and refuse to play along with "the plan."
      3) You got caught with your hand in the cookie jar, and you have a choice of saving your life but losing your hand, or losing your life.
  • RE: Microsoft Enterprise sales chief Simon Witts resigns, internal e-mail says

    Maybe Microsoft is going to push to get Steve Jobs to run this group? ;) Unless they can lure Tim Cook away that is.
    • RE: Microsoft Enterprise sales chief Simon Witts resigns, internal e-mail says

      That wasn't even funny! The enterprise segment is totally alien territory for Steve Jobs - I doubt he wants to end his career with a major flop.
  • RE: Microsoft Enterprise sales chief Simon Witts resigns, internal e-mail says

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  • RE: Microsoft Enterprise sales chief Simon Witts resigns, internal e-mail says

    Since Microsoft did away with the Large Account Reseller Program, and then failed to support closely the resellers, large account sales (Enterprise "Sales") slipped, as qualified direct customer support vanished. Same as when Apple did away with Education Dealers. Dell thanks you. (I was BOTH of the endangered species, that was successful; BEFORE.....)