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

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.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

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.

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