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September 7, 2011
Linda Zecher, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Worldwide Public Sector, has departed the Redmond giant to become the new CEO at education and learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. While The VAR Guy gets the general sense that Zecher’s departure from Microsoft was on better terms than enterprise chief Simon Witts‘, it still raises the question, What the heck is going on at Microsoft?
The news broke when Houghton Mifflin Harcourt issued a press release announcing that Zecher will be taking over Sept. 16, 2011, and Microsoft confirmed her last day with them is Sept. 15. Houghton Mifflin seems to delight in reminding people that Microsoft’s educational, governmental and healthcare business grew to $8 billion under Zecher’s leadership.
Another interesting wrinkle is that with the aforementioned departure of Witts, Zecher was set to begin reporting directly to Microsoft COO Kevin Turner. But unlike that previous departure, there are no grounds to think this parting of ways was anything but amicable.
Between Zecher, Witts and former cloud and virtualization head honcho Dave Greschler all departing within about a month from each other, I have to repeat my question: What’s going on at Microsoft, and what could it mean for its partners?
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