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Redmond exec to replace Robinson at Microsoft

Microsoft New Zealand is importing its new leader from its Redmond headquarters.

Kevin Ackhurst is joining the company as its country manager on 22 October, replacing Helen Robinson, who resigned just over two weeks ago.

Ackhurst is currently worldwide general manager of Operations and Business Strategy for Public Sector based in Redmond.

Zimbabwean-born Ackhurst has worked at Microsoft since 1997 and first joined the company’s South African subsidiary in its consulting services. Before this he worked for HP in South Africa, where he also went to university. He is no stranger to Australasia, having been public sector director at Microsoft Australia from 2003 to 2006, before being promoted to the US-based role. According to Microsoft Ackhurst was instrumental in the development of the Innovation Centre concept, which resulted in the launch of the Microsoft New Zealand Innovation Centre.

In a statement released by the company today, Ackhurst says he is delighted at the opportunity to work more closely with the local Microsoft team.

“New Zealand has a thriving software industry and New Zealanders have a strong reputation for being innovative and creative. I am looking forward to harnessing this potential and ensuring that our customers, partners and the wider community in New Zealand are advantaged by Microsoft’s global network.”

In the same statement, Microsoft Asia Pacific President, Emilio Umeoka says with 15 years experience in the IT industry Ackhurst is well placed to lead the Microsoft team here.

“Ackhurst is a strong leader with a very successful track record in the industry. He has a firm understanding of the global landscape that will ensure we better fulfil our commitment to customers and partners in New Zealand and help them realise their full potential,” says Umeoka.

NOTE: This article has been updated from the original version posted on 9 October, which stated Kevin Ackhurst is South African, when he is in fact Zimbabwean.