Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector Chief is out

Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector Chief is out

Summary: Microsoft's Worldwide Public Sector chief is following its head of enterprise sales out the door, though not in the same manner. Linda Zecher is joining Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as CEO.


Linda Zecher, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector, is leaving Microsoft to become the CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

HMH announced on September 6 that Zecher will become CEO and a Director there as of September 19.

Zecher became the Worldwide Public Sector chief at Microsoft in January 2009. She joined Microsoft in 2003. As head of Worldwide Public Sector, she led a team of more than 1,900 sales and marketing staff in the government, education and non-privatized healthcare segments.

Zecher's departure was announced internally at Microsoft today, September 6, according to one of my readers.

At the very end of August, following the resignation of Enterprise Sales Chief Simon Witts, Zecher was set to begin reporting directly to Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, according to an e-mail sent by Turner to Microsoft.

I've asked Microsoft as to its plans to replace Zecher. No word back so far.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed Zecher's last day at Microsoft is September 15. The spokesperson said a search is on for her replacement. I'm hearing Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector Education, will lead Worldwide Public Sector until that happens, but Microsoft officials wouldn't comment on that. Salcito is on the board of Zecher's new employer, Houghton Mifflin.

How to interpret the revolving door in Microsoft's Enterprise and Partner Group,( as of late? Some say the latest vesting of stock options as of September 1 may be a contributing factor. I hear Zecher's departure is a lot more amicable than the mutually agreed upon resignation of Witts. Anyone else have more information to share?

Topics: Microsoft, Banking, CXO, Government, Government US, Health, Legal, IT Employment


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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  • RE: Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector Chief is out

    Sounds like burnout is happening at Microsoft. I have personally seen this at smaller companies. Hopefully new blood will change the old establishment rules at Microsoft.
  • RE: Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector Chief is out

    That is hard to determine...don't they have like 70,000 or 80,000 employees? It isn't unusual to see people come and go in any organization let alone an organization the size of Microsoft. The way people leave speaks more about whether they leave. In this instance, it sounds like a great opportunity for her...any decent company would wish her the best and who knows, maybe she becomes a Microsoft advocate at her new company, much like the Nokia CEO deal.
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  • RE: Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector Chief is out

    She's leaving Microsoft because of being promoted. Going from VP to CEO, that's a step up in her career. Nothing more than that.
  • RE: Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector Chief is out

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