Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

Letter from Allison L. Watson to the Global Microsoft Partner Network

AllisonWatson It is with emotions of excitement, nostalgia and pride that I announce a leadership change. Today, Microsoft announced that I will take on the role of corporate vice president of the Business & Marketing Organization (BMO) for North America, reporting to Robert Youngjohns, senior vice president of North America Sales & Marketing. Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of the North America Business & Marketing Organization will take on the leadership role as corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group, reporting to Vahé Torossian, corporate vice president of the Worldwide Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMS&P) Group.

This new challenge is energizing and exciting, particularly at such a pivotal time in our industry. Helping customers capitalize on the products and services Microsoft and our partners have to offer is going to be a great endeavor and continuing my leadership role in driving Microsoft’s brand with cloud computing is a unique opportunity. Connecting customers, partners, and Microsoft in a three-way dialogue on how to best deliver innovation and efficiency remains a core mission. Thanks to my eight years of learning from you, the best sales and marketers in the industry, I feel confident and ready for this challenge.

Jon has the opportunity to take over at the helm of the largest most diverse partner network in the industry. Having worked closely with Jon over the past six years, I have witnessed his leadership, passion and energetic advocacy for partners, as well as customers. Jon is an outstanding leader, and brings deep understanding of our mutual customers and a keen eye for innovation in the sales and marketing process. I look forward to continuing our partnership from our new roles.

As we finalize this transition, my mind is filled with fond memories and gratitude for my eight years in this role and I am proud and humbled by what we have accomplished together:

  • We have grown the Microsoft Partner Network to over 640,000 partners across 170 countries. With your help we have expanded Microsoft’s reach to provide local touch and support to customers in over 249 countries.
  • With 640,000 partners strong, the network employs approximately 6 million skilled workers and generates an estimated $537 billion in local revenues, fueling economic growth across the globe (IDC 2009).
  • We improved our mutual satisfaction and most importantly achieved superior satisfaction ratings from our collective customers around the world.
  • Together we established a strong voice into local policies and software initiatives. We grew our IAMCP chapter from a few hundred pioneers to a global force of almost 5000 passionate industry leaders and 60 chapters worldwide; Voices For Innovation has over fifteen thousand members affecting change and impacting policies locally across the globe.
  • Together we drove multiple waves of successful software launches, including Windows 7, the most successful in Microsoft’s history.
  • I am proud of our collective work – first with the Microsoft Partner Program and most recently with the evolution to the Microsoft Partner Network – in developing a predictive partnering framework that optimizes performance of partners of all types, across the broad product scope, and throughout the diverse global markets we jointly serve.
  • As I shift into my new role, one thing that will not waiver is my passionate dedication to partners. My commitment to strengthening and evolving our engagement, and the collective learning you’ve imparted will be a toolset I will continue to employ. Jon and I are eager to hear from you about how we can best serve Microsoft’s partners and customers.

In closing, I am honored and humbled by the confidence and trust you have given me in leading our collective business efforts. I look forward to seeing you in Washington DC, hosting my last Worldwide Partner Conference, introducing you to Jon, and personally thanking you for your support of Microsoft and customers. Thank you for an amazing eight years.

All the best,


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Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
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