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Microsoft reorgs US partner group

Robert Deshaies and Cynthia Bates will divvy up responsibilities for Microsoft’s US partner organization, Microsoft said late Wednesday night.

Deshaies, who had been vice president of the US Partner Group is now vice president of Partner Business Development & Sales, a new role. Cindy Bates, who had been general manager of Microsoft’s Small Business Group was promoted to vice president of US Partner Strategy for marketing and programs.

Both execs reported to Michael Park, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Small to Midmarket Solutions and Partners (SMS&P) group,  and will continue to do so, a spokeswoman said.

The news comes just days before the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference kicks off in Houston.

Basically, Microsoft has bifurcated the US partner organization into what it calls “two aligned but distinct organizations.” Deshaies will work on “growing the capacity, performance and satisfaction” of the company’s nationally managed partners — the big systems integrators, distributors, ISVs, and Large Account Resellers (LARs).

Bates will “focus on enabling and supporting Microsoft’s expanding partner ecosystem with emphasis on driving partner profitability and satisfaction,” according to her new bio, which is not yet available on Microsoft’s web site.

The news was emailed to reporters late Wednesday. It was unclear if there are any analogous changes to the company’s worldwide partner organization headed by Allison Watson.

The email said the change was made to help Microsoft engage with newer partner types: “web agencies and non-traditional partners.” And that the company’s investment over the past two year has caused its US partner population to triple from 140,000 to 500,000.

Ironically, it is that growth that has irked many current Microsoft Gold partners, who say the company has sparked so much growth that many geographies are knee-deep in Microsoft partners competing with each other. But even many of those partners agree that Microsoft must bring in new talent for its cloud-based computing push and, perhaps, weed out partners who are not adding a ton of value. Of course no partner would admit that he or she is in the latter camp.

 Note: More details on this reorg are starting to come out.

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