And so, there won’t be the era of Satya Nadella at Microsoft Dynamics, as the product line is called, or Microsoft Business Solutions, the fading name of the business unit built around the former Great Plains is called.Just before Microsoft Convergence, the company’s giant business software user show was being held in San Diego from March 11 through 14, Microsoft’s top management approached Nadella about leading the search engine and ad group. That is the group responsible for fending off the likes of Google.
The announcement wasn’t made until after Convergence, and that’s understandable because who would succeed Doug Burgum, who has lead Dynamics/Great Plains for 23 years, would have squeezed out all other topics. Burgum has announced he will leave in July and there’s been no indication that will change.
As it is, the happening pretty much diverts attention away from all other announcements made at the show, several of which are pretty interesting.
But now, the focus is on the hunt for a successor.
The betting money pretty quickly settles on corporate VP Tami Reller, who runs the Dynamics product lines, and was CFO of Great Plains when it was independent and was in charge of the IPO road show.
Besides being capable, she is part of what insiders like to call Friends of Doug. It’s a big advantage.
She seems the logical choice, probably the only choice because Microsoft needs to demonstrate stability and commitment. Although she was only named acting, whatever the title is of whatever the group is, she made it clear the search mechanism for finding a successor will be different. Her references to “Jeff and me” -- referring to Jeff Raikes who runs the parent Microsoft Business Division --are coupled with the fact some resellers said she was acting very CEO-like at Convergence.
The channel seemed stunned by all this. Given the usual level of gossip, it was notable there were almost no incoming emails or telephone calls about this. One reseller did complain that his company wasted two trips to Washington to build a relationship with Nadella. But otherwise, it was the sound of silence.
It’s unfortunate for the Dynamics market that this happened. But Microsoft clearly reads Nadella the way I do -- a tremendous talent who has a very bright future in Redmond. From a corporate point of view, this was a very good decision because the company took its best talent and is applying that talent to its most critical strategic issue.
But you know, it would have been nice to have this talent applied to building the Dynamics market and the reseller channel.
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