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February 08, 2014

Comings & Goings: Week in Review

By Doug Barney, TMCnet Editor at Large

It was huge week for Comings & Goings, not because of the volume of the hirings and firings, but the significance of one of them. After months of searching, Microsoft looked to the bench and hired Satya Nadella (News - Alert), one if its own, as CEO.

Microsoft’s New CEO

Satya Nadella, who has run several groups at Microsoft and had great success in Servers and Tools, is joined by a true software powerhouse exec. John Thompson, former CEO of Symantec replaces Bill Gates (News - Alert) as chairman, a bit of news almost as stunning as the hiring of a new CEO.

Veteran Microsoft watcher Tony Rizzo has a slightly different take in an analysis piece for TMC. “Well, we’re not quite sure “anticlimactic” even comes close to Microsoft and Satya Nadella both making it official this morning that Nadella is now Microsoft’s new CEO, John Thompson is its new chairman, and Gates is letting go. Microsoft has decided to play it safe - is now today’s reality. In a video released earlier today by Microsoft, Gates says he will spend over 30 percent of his available time at the company to "meet with product groups" and to assist Nadella as he transtions into the CEO role.”

Not surprisingly, Nadella has far more optimistic view. “Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation. This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world,” wrote in an email to staffers. 

Cloud Contact Center Firm on the Move

Five9 (News - Alert), a cloud contact center solutions provider, added some bulk to its board of directors by appointing Robert Zollars.

Five9's CEO and president Mike Burkland explained why Zollars is a good fit, given that he has experience “leading companies from $100 million to more than $5 billion in revenues.” Burkland also noted that Zollars has “expertise in general management, corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions.” Zollars was previously CEO of Vocera (News - Alert), and CEO of both Wound Care Solutions and Neoforma, which operated in the healthcare industry.

Brocade adds SDN Brainpower

The Brocade SDN strategy should be buttress by the appointment of Tom Nadeau as a distinguished engineer. Nadeau will work on both SDN and NFV efforts.

Both SDN and NFV are so new and complex that brainpower like Nadeau’s is critical.

Nadeau is apparently no slouch, having been a leader in both OpenStack and the OpenDaylight Project.

He was also a distinguished engineer at Juniper.

"The pace at which SDN has transformed the industry is astounding, but community-oriented open source projects have the potential to further accelerate customer adoption by producing multivendor-supported solutions," said Nadeau. "Brocade (News - Alert)'s involvement in projects such as OpenDaylight demonstrates its understanding of the evolving data center and the solutions customers need to be successful."

The Nadeau move was a month after Brocade appointed Benson Schliesser as a distinguished engineer. Schliesser also worked at Juniper. 

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