Head of Microsoft's One Commercial Partner group is out: Report

Microsoft's One Commercial Partner chief, Ron Huddleston, looks to be leaving, capping off a year of sweeping changes for the company's sales and partner organization.

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Ron Huddleston, the corporate vice president of Microsoft's One Commercial Partner organization, is leaving the company, according to reports.

Huddleston, who joined Microsoft in June 2016 after working with Salesforce and, before that, Oracle, has been leading the company's partner programs for system integrators, value added resellers and ISVs.

Redmond Channel Partner (RCP) reported on Dec. 12 that Huddleston is "going on an indefinite family leave." Gavriella Schuster, who reported to Huddleston and was formerly head of the Worldwide Partner Group, will be taking over for Huddleston, RCP said.

I've heard from my contacts that Huddleston is leaving, and it's not clear if/when he will return. I've asked Microsoft for comment on the original report but haven't heard back.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that Huddleston is out on family leave. I haven't heard about any kind of timeline regarding how long he is slated to be gone (if there is one).

Huddleston rose to prominence inside Microsoft earlier this year when Microsoft reorganized its sales, partner, and services teams. The company created a new One Commercial Partner team, headed by Huddleston, who most recently had been senior vice president for IoT Cloud and AppExchange at Salesforce. Huddleston was one of the keynote speakers at Microsoft's Inspire partner conference in Washington, D.C., in July.

Schuster, whose current title is corporate vice president of Commercial Partner Channels and Programs, has been with Microsoft since 1995. She's held a variety of roles in the company's services, licensing, Windows, Cloud and Enterprise, and partner organizations. She also was a keynote speaker at Inspire this year.

Microsoft's One Commercial Partner organization is one of the groups charged with selling to both enterprise and small and midsize companies. Microsoft officials instituted a new sales model this year ,which resulted in Microsoft cutting several thousand of its employees, many of whom worked in sales, as part of its plan to better help customers transform digitally.

Update No. 2: Huddleston isn't the only big name exiting the One Commercial Partner group. Microsoft veteran and, most recently, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Worldwide Commercial Partner team, Larry Orecklin, retired from Microsoft a month ago, sources said. A Microsoft spokesperson declined to provide further comment on Orecklin's departure.

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