Microsoft's OEM chief defects to Lenovo

The Microsoft OEM Chief chair has been vacated yet again. Scott Di Valerio quietly left Microsoft at the very end of October and is slated to start at as President of the Americas Group at Lenovo on December 3.

While so many of us Microsoft watchers were preoccupied with the hasty departure of former Microsfot CIO Stuart Scott, the resignation of the company's OEM chief slipped right by most of us.

Microsoft’s OEM chief defects to Lenovo
Scott Di Valerio quietly left Microsoft at the very end of October and has resurfaced at Lenovo. Redmond Channel Partner reported on Di Valerio's career moves in early November, but I missed their story.

Di Valerio is slated to start his new job on December 3 as Lenovo senior vice president and president of the Americas Group.

Since November 2005, Di Valerio was corporate vice president of Microsoft's Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Division. The head of the OEM division traditionally has been an important post at Microsoft -- and one with quite the revolving door since the mid-1990s.

The most (in)famous of Microsoft's OEM chiefs was Joachim Kempin, who left his post in 2000. Richard Roy, head of Microsoft Germany, stepped in to fill Kempin's shoes. Next, Richard Fade, the VP in charge of Microsoft's desktop applications division, headed the OEM unit for a couple of years, during the tough DOJ sanction-negotiation period. Then, in July of 2002, Rodrigo Costa took the OEM reins. In 2005, Di Valerio moved over from his job as Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Finance and Administration and chief accounting officer (CAO).

It can't have been much fun to be OEM chief at Microsoft for the past few years. Vista's constantly changing due date and feature set was followed by finger-pointing between Microsoft and its PC partners regarding hardware/driver incompatibilities. Microsoft ended up giving in to OEMs' requests to allow them to preload Windows XP for an additional few months in order to appease customers not ready to move to Vista.

Redmond Channel Partner said that James Pickney (whose previous title I had no luck finding) will serve as the interim leader of the Microsoft OEM Division, working with Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of the Windows Business Group, and COO Kevin Turner, to find a full-time replacement for Di Valerio.

Update:  A couple of readers pointed out that another former Softie, Microsoft's former Human Resources Chief Ken DiPietro (who left the company in a hurry in 2005 for publicly undisclosed reasons), is now the HR chief at Lenovo.


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