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Sheers promoted to Microsoft regional role, Sorenson steps up as GM

Changes at the top as Microsoft NZ MD takes on regional role
Vanessa Sorenson (Microsoft NZ)

Vanessa Sorenson (Microsoft NZ)

Microsoft New Zealand managing director Barrie Sheers has been appointed as One Commercial Partner regional business leader for Microsoft Asia. 

Sheers will be succeeded in New Zealand by current enterprise director, Vanessa Sorenson, who will carry the title of general manager

Sheers was appointed to lead the local Microsoft business in mid 2015, coming from leading Dell's software group for Asia-Pacific and Japan.

Sorenson joined Microsoft from Spark, where she was enterprise general manager, in October 2017.

Sheers said he joined Microsoft at a critical time, when the company was returning to an "unprecedented level of innovation, trust and relevance". 

"I am both humbled and privileged to have played even a small role in that moment of Microsoft’s incredible history," he said. "And with Vanessa taking over as GM I believe we have an incredible succession plan in place, which will see Microsoft New Zealand move from strength to strength.”

He said Sorenson would deliver a "power combination" of “passion, innovation, determination and humour" to her role.

“And it’s this combination that will ensure New Zealand continues to punch above its weight.”

Since becoming enterprise director, Sorenson has been instrumental in building Microsoft’s relationships with key business customers and is also a noted champion of diversity and inclusion across the tech industry, Sheers said.

“Working alongside the best talent I have ever come across, and with the strong growth and trust Barrie has helped us create, I see so much potential ahead," Sorenson said.

Sheers' new role driving Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner (OCP) strategy takes him full-circle, seeing him working closely with country managers and business directors across the Asia-Pacific region as he did for Dell.

OCP aims to  harness the power of partnership to drive digital transformation for customers by delivering innovative products, programs, services, and tools to its ecosystem of partner organisations.

“For me, OCP is one of the most interesting and dynamic areas of the business today," Sheers said. "Having spent a decade running IT businesses in Asia, I am very happy to be returning to this amazingly diverse, vibrant and exciting region with a partner ecosystem to match."

Microsoft’s senior director of OCP field strategy and operations, Camille Mazo, said Sheers' leadership helped the New Zealand business more than double since 2015 and win top global subsidiary twice.