Microsoft’s new execs helping win at Azure, AI, devices

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Microsoft’s new execs helping win at Azure, AI, devices

A vice president of products for Azure Cognitive Services, a vice president of global payments and cash, and a corporate vice president over digital marketing for commercial software and Surface PC products are some of the biggest executive hires from Microsoft so far this year.

Marco Casalaina, Ajith Thekadath and Ashley Hart are just some of the new faces at the tech giant as it invests to accelerate its market position in cloud, artificial intelligence, devices and other areas, according to Mcirosoft’s account on LinkedIn, a social media network Microsoft owns.

CRN US has reached out to Microsoft and each of the executives for comment.

Who has Microsoft hired in 2022?

Microsoft has taken some of its new executives from fierce competitors in tech. Casalaina, for example, came from Salesforce, whose Slack subsidiary competes with Microsoft Teams and whose customer relationship management (CRM) stack is an alternative to Microsoft Dynamics.

Kristen Summers, the new business unit chief technology officer of the company’s division for U.S. federal government agencies, came from IBM.

Levent Besik, the new vice president of product management, identity developer platform and application ecosystem, came from Okta, whose products compete with Microsoft in cybersecurity.

And finally, three new maps- and transportation-focused executives came to Microsoft this year from Google.

Here are some of the other new major players to start with Microsoft so far this year.

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Smita Hashim

Smita Hashim returned to Microsoft in March with the title of vice president of product management, according to her LinkedIn.

She rejoined the tech giant after more than 16 years with Google, according to her LinkedIn. In her most recent role, she was director and head of product management for Google Cloud Maps Platform.

Her product experience includes “online advertising at Google with focus on local, Chrome OS and Google Cloud with focus on UCaaS for G Suite,” according to her LinkedIn.

Hashim previously worked at Microsoft for more than six years, from 1999 to 2005, according to her LinkedIn. She left with the title of group program manager.

She was the first program manager on Microsoft Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) while the product was still in incubation and the team only had six people, according to her LinkedIn.

“During my 2.5 year tenure on the product, we successfully incubated the product, taking it from concept to trials with major Tier 1 telcos around the world including AT&T, DT, Swisscom, Reliance, BellSouth,” according to her LinkedIn. “We also won the IEEE broadband product of the year award. Team grew from 6 to 100+ while my role expanded to Group Program Manager for the team of 14 program managers on the project.”

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Marco Casalaina

This year, Marco Casalaina joined Microsoft as vice president of products for Azure Cognitive Services, according to his LinkedIn.

Casalaina comes to the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant from Salesforce, according to his LinkedIn. He worked at Salesforce for more than 10 years on and off. His most recent title was senior vice president of product management for Einstein.

His resume includes more than two years with RingCentral. He left the company in 2017 with the title of vice president of applications, according to his LinkedIn. In this role, he “managed both the product and engineering teams building the next generation of unified communications applications, including voice, SMS, IM, collaboration, video, and screen sharing.”

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Levent Besik

Levent Besik joined Microsoft this year as vice president of product management, identity developer platform and application ecosystem, according to his LinkedIn.

Before joining the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant, Besik worked at Okta for more than a year. He left with the title of senior vice president of product management.

He previously worked at Google for more than seven years, leaving in 2020 with the title of director of product management, cloud AI applications, core solutions and developer platform. In this role, he led “the product, strategy and the overall business for Google Cloud’s core machine intelligence APIs, products and solutions for Computer Vision, Natural Language, Speech, Conversation and Translation domains, including Dialogflow, AutoML, Contact Center AI and Document AI,” according to LinkedIn.

Besik also worked at Microsoft for more than nine years, leaving the company in 2011 with the title of senior engineering systems manager and test lead. In this role, he “led the Engineering System & Servicing Test organisation of Internet Explorer; managed 5 teams, 3 managers, over 25 direct and dotted-line individual contributors” and “oversaw the internal application development, engineering and infrastructure operations that supported Internet Explorer releases worldwide in 94 languages and reach over 900 million users globally,” according to his LinkedIn.

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Ashley Hart

Microsoft hired Ashley Hart this year as corporate vice president over digital marketing for commercial software and Surface PC products, according to her LinkedIn.

In this role, Hart is “responsible for all digital marketing (i.e. social media, paid advertising, product brand, blogs) security and privacy of Microsoft Commercial software and PC products; which includes Azure, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Dynamics 365, and Surface PCs,” according to her LinkedIn.

She previously worked at Oracle for more than a year, leaving with the title of senior vice president of global marketing for Oracle cloud, database and developer tools, according to her LinkedIn.

In this role, Hart served as “Global Marketing Leader of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Platform, which includes a suite of solutions, such as the Autonomous Database, Big Data Analytics, Data Science, Developer Tools, Security and the hardware products under the Exadata flagship,” according to her LinkedIn.

She led “over 350+ marketers with 10 direct reports; departments include product marketing, demand generation, digital marketing, field marketing, events, analytics, developer marketing, competitive intelligence, benchmarking, and creative development,” as well as “demand generation programs, which increased YoY sales pipeline by 80%+,” according to her LinkedIn.

Her resume includes more than a year with Infor, where she served as senior vice president and global chief marketing officer. She left Infor in 2019, according to her LinkedIn.

During her time with Infor, she serviced 68,000 customers in 170 countries, according to her LinkedIn. She led “over 200+ marketers with 9 direct reports; departments include brand, communications, product marketing, digital marketing, field marketing, events, analytics, MarTech operations, and creative development.”

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Kristen Summers

Kristen Summers joined Microsoft this year as business unit chief technology officer of the company’s division for U.S. federal government agencies, according to her LinkedIn.

Summers came to Microsoft after more than seven years with IBM. She left IBM with the title of distinguished engineer and artificial intelligence CTO for data and AI Expert Labs and learning, according to her LinkedIn.

Before IBM, Summers worked at CAC InternationalI for more than 15 years, according to her LinkedIn. She left the company in 2014 with the title of technical director.

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Kevin Sutton

Kevin Sutton joined Microsoft in January as chief technology officer for the telecommunications service line, according to his LinkedIn.

In this role, he leads an international, cross-functional team for growing “the digital transformation of Telco customers by architecting and deploying Azure cloud solutions, mobile edge computing, AI, and many other disruptive technologies,” according to his LinkedIn.

Sutton previously worked at Nokia on and off for more than 26 years. He left with the title of chief wireless officer, according to his LinkedIn.

In this role, he worked “across Nokia‘s expert R&D base and with our customers to ensure common vision for products and technology, then confirm implementation of needed software and hardware components.”

“The team has brought first in the world solutions for Stand Alone in 5G, VoNR, mMIMO solutions for TDD and now growth to CD+IT and ORAN,” according to his LinkedIn.

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Kaushal Misra

This year, Kaushal Misra joined Microsoft as chief technology officer for strategic clients in the western United States, according to his LinkedIn.

In this role, he helps clients with “their innovation and digital transformation journey” in areas including Azure, security, data and artificial intelligence.

Misra previously worked at MUFG, Japan’s largest bank, for more than a year, according to his LinkedIn. He left with the title of head of innovation and incubation. In this role, was was “responsible for collaborating with various Senior Executives on Data, Infrastructure, tech experts, Operations, Businesses, PoC construction, etc.”

At MUFG, he created “guidance for business lines on initiatives, sizing, teams, PoCs and architecture -10s of $M benefits” and assessed “external vendors, AWS products and suitability of toolchains at the Bank, newer technologies.”

His resume includes more than four years with Fuzzy Logix, a predictive analytics software and services company based in Charlotte, N.C.

He left the company in 2020 with the title of director of product engineering and pre-sales, according to his LinkedIn.

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Russell Dicker

Russell Dicker joined Microsoft this year as a corporate vice president, according to his LinkedIn.

In April, he posted a job listing for a product analytics data scientist to build a new team involved with Microsoft’s Web Experiences Team (WebXT) and Maps & Local team.

He came to Microsoft after six years on and off with Google, according to his LinkedIn. His most recent title at Google was senior director of product for transportation. In this role, he worked on Google Automotive Services (GAS) and Google Maps.

Dicker’s resume includes more than a year with Uber. He left the company in 2017 with the title of head of product for rider expansion, according to LinkedIn.

He also worked at Amazon for more than 13 years, according to his LinkedIn. He left the company in 2014 with the title of director of Amazon Cloud Drive.

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Nicholas Lee

Microsoft hired Nicholas Lee this year as corporate vice president of maps and local, according to his LinkedIn.

He came to Microsoft after more than 16 years with Google, according to his LinkedIn. He left Google with the title of senior director of engineering and worked on Google Maps.

Lee previously worked at Amazon for more than five years, according to his LinkedIn. He left the company in 2005 with the title of software engineer.

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Ajith Thekadath

In April, Ajith Thekadath joined Microsoft as vice president of global payments and cash, according to his LinkedIn.

In this role, he will “enable and enhance payments experiences, alternative payment methods and real-time payments,” he wrote on LinkedIn.

Thekadath previously worked at Visa for more than 14 years, according to his LinkedIn. He left the company with the title of vice president and product head of B2B Connect, “Visa’s first non-card payment network,” Thekadath wrote on LinkedIn.

The brand “connects 3 billion+ people,” according to a post by Thekadath on LinkedIn.

In this role, he was “responsible for Strategic Vision, Conceptualisation, and design” and led “global Product and cross-functional teams in building B2B Connect network, Product market fit, managing complex work streams, owning GTM strategy and P&L,”according to his LinkedIn.

He “raised $80M to prepare the platform for global commercial launch; passed through investment gates, led institutional change, commercialisation, and managed internal and external risks” and led “build-buy partner strategies, established global financial institutional, FinTech partnerships to expedite time-to-market,” according to his LinkedIn.

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Brian Eshenbrenner

Brian Eshenbrenner joined Microsoft this year as vice president of government operations, according to his LinkedIn.

Eshenbrenner came to Microsoft from Northrop Grumman, according to his LinkedIn. He spent more than two years with the company, leaving with the title of senior director of special programs.

Before Northrop Grumman, he worked at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for more than 15 years, according to his LinkedIn. He left DARPA in 2019 with the title of director of the Mission Services Office.

In this role, Eshenbrenner managed “a US$260M enterprise contract and a $130M enterprise management budget spanning security, facilities, information technology (IT), business policies/processes, management and internal controls, audit readiness, and all other administrative support services,” according to his LinkedIn.

In 2004, he retired from the US Air Force after more than 20 years of active duty, according to his LinkedIn.

 

This article originally appeared at crn.com

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