Redmond, Wash. (June 4, 2004) -- Microsoft Business Solutions and its senior vice president, Doug Burgum, are taking on a more prominent role within the Microsoft family, with changes that have Burgum reporting directly to chief executive Steve Ballmer while the group’s sales and marketing arm and its leader are folded into MBS.

Last March, Ballmer personally appointed worldwide marketing guru Orlando Ayala to head up Microsoft’s 8,000-person Small and Mid-market Solutions and Partners Group, giving the needed sales and marketing muscle for MBS. But, after much discussion, Microsoft has placed Ayala and his division within Burgum’s group.

“When Orlando first got involved, it was a very positive step for MBS. Since diving into that role, he has gotten increasingly energized around MBS and he and Doug have been able to work together closely and learn some lessons about what is going to work in bringing the two organizations together,” said Tami Reller, corporate vice president of marketing and strategy for MBS.

Ayala now serves as chief operating officer of MBS and is charged with driving sales, services, marketing and operations strategy for the business groups. He also now reports directly to Burgum. Prior to these changes, both Burgum and Ayala reported to Jeff Raikes, vice president of Microsoft’s Information Worker Business group, one of seven divisions with the Microsoft family.

Reller said that the move is largely due to some “hard lessons learned” over the past year and with an eye towards the significant future of MBS and its products.

“At the start of this integration, we wanted to make it easy for partners to interact with Microsoft. The result was that many MBS partners had a new face. It’s hard for those who had prior relationships,” she said. “This move is significant in that we learned tough lessons in what will work and what won’t. As we look at 2005, there will be a number of specialist roles for CRM and ERP, [and] additional resources placed on MBS. It’s very material and its not just about top-line leadership.”

In addition, Reller’s marketing group has its own changes in place. Effective immediately, Jeff Young, the former vice president of customer relationship management and retail at MBS, is now general manager of the division’s Great Plains and Solomon accounting products.

-- Seth Fineberg

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