There's been a changing of the guard in Microsoft's Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) division, less than a month before Windows 8 launches.
Walid Abu-Hadba, the Corporate Vice President in charge of Microsoft's DPE since 2007, is leaving the company.
Taking his place is another Microsoft vet, Steve Guggenheimer, who is now Corporate Vice President of DPE, effective immediately, according to a couple of my sources.
Guggenheimer was the CVP of Microsoft's OEM division until June 30, 2012. At the time he left that position, Microsoft officials said he would be taking on a new senior leadership role at the company at a later date. Guggenheimer had headed the OEM division since 2008.
DPE plays a key a role in Microsoft developer business across sales, technical evangelism and marketing. With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 launches happening at the end of this month, followed by Microsoft's biggest developer conference of the year -- Build 2012 -- the pressure is on for Microsoft to extend its outreach to developers across its PC, phone and cloud platforms. At last count the Windows 8 Store had just over 2,000 new Windows RT-based apps in it. Update: It's now up to 3,600-plus, as of October 3, says Wes Miller on WinAppUpdate.
Microsoft originally formed DPE in 2001. The head of the original DPE was Eric Rudder, who is still at Microsoft and is Chief Technical Strategy Officer.
The original description of DPE's charter is worth revisiting:
"The Developer and Platform Evangelism Division will coordinate the overall programming model for the PC and server, create tools for the Microsoft .NET Platform, and foster synergies between Windows and the .NET Enterprise Server offerings. In addition, the division will be chartered with evangelizing the extended Microsoft platform through a variety of content offerings, such as books, online learning, courseware and exams, for developers, IT managers, business decision-makers and consumers. This division also will run Microsoft's corporate Web site."
I've asked Microsoft officials for confirmation of the changing of the DPE guard. No word back so far. I'll update this post with any statements I received if and when I get something.
Update No. 2: This just in from a Microsoft spokesperson:
"Walid Abu-Hadba has decided to pursue the next chapter in his career and will be leaving Microsoft in a few months. Microsoft veteran Steve Guggenheimer is joining the Developer Group as the new Corporate Vice President effective immediately. He brings a breadth of experience from his 18+ years at Microsoft, most recently in the OEM Division working with hardware partners. he developer opportunity on Windows has never been greater and we remain focused on driving excitement and engagement with our community of developer partners."