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May 16, 2022
Microsoft’s Rodney Clark
A year after taking over as Microsoft’s global channel chief, Rodney Clark is unexpectedly exiting the company. Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Global Partner Solutions Nick Parker, to whom Clark reports, revealed the unexpected news on Monday.
Clark’s departure appears to have caught Parker and Microsoft off guard, as the company doesn’t have a replacement lined up. Parker said that Clark will be taking over as an “executive officer” at a publicly traded company that he said: “has been a great partner to Microsoft.” The company has not been identified.
“This type of role has been in Rodney’s sights as part of his long-term career plan, the timing was sooner than we anticipated,” according to Parker’s announcement. “We have a deep and talented bench of leaders who are in place to deliver business continuity with our partners and programs without interruption.”
The timing comes as Microsoft is in the midst of its fourth fiscal quarter and just two months before its annual Microsoft Inspire partner event. “We are actively discussing Rodney’s successor and expect to have a new leader in place by the beginning of our new fiscal year in July,” Parker said. “We look forward to introducing this person at Microsoft Inspire, our annual partner conference on July 19-20.”
A longtime Microsoft company veteran, Clark took over as the company’s channel chief last year, replacing Gavriella Schuster. Clark shared news of his planned departure on his LinkedIn profile.
“For 24+ years I have been able to learn, grow and work for the best company in the world,” Clark said. “My family has been raised with Microsoft, and my community has been shaped by Microsoft. Thank you to all that chose me – that took a bet, that trusted, that believed (my staff, my team members, sponsors, mentors, peers, etc)…. I am and will be forever grateful!”
Joseph Landes, chief revenue officer of Nerdio said despite Clark’s unexpected departure, Microsoft has many options. “Being Microsoft’s channel chief is a big job that comes with huge responsibility to such a massive and varied set of partners,” Landes told Channel Futures. “Microsoft has a deep bench of talent that I am sure they will dip into to find the next great channel chief who will bring great value to partners across the ecosystem.”
Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.
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