Microsoft scoops up former Telstra, Fishburners startup advisor

Annie Parker will leave Fishburners as its interim CEO when she takes up the new role of global head of startups at Microsoft.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Annie Parker has revealed that she will be joining Microsoft as its global head of startups in March, handing the reins of CEO at Sydney's co-working space Fishburners to COO Pandora Shelley when she leaves the interim appointment next month.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to work at scale and make a global impact, I can't wait to get started," Parker said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

Parker, who announced her new job via Twitter, co-founded Telstra's startup accelerator Muru-D in 2013. Muru-D provides workspace, funding, and advice for promising startups in return for equity.

According to Parker, the genesis of the accelerator came after Telstra decided it wanted to be a global technology company, with the telco giant unsure who, what, and where to invest in.

"If we want to become a global technology company, how do we do that, what do we need to invest in, what are the trends happening in the global ecosystem?" Parker said previously. "This led to the creation of the Telstra Software Group, of which the president is also the co-founder of Muru-D alongside me, Charlotte Yarkoni."

Parker took up the interim chief role at Fishburners in July, after leaving her short-lived startup accelerator Lighthouse.

Speaking with ZDNet in April, Parker said Lighthouse was in limbo while it looked for a place to call home, hosting instead a six-week founder one-on-one workshop at KPMG's offices at Barangaroo, where she had said it would trial the accelerator's content and get it moving as a prototype before scaling it through Lighthouse when it's physically built.

"We are pleased to confirm that Annie Parker has joined Microsoft to work on our startup programs," a Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet.

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