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Microsoft's top channel chief Gavriella Schuster exits

Microsoft veteran Rodney Clark named as Schuster's replacement with the leadership shift happening April 1.
Gavriella Schuster

Gavriella Schuster

Microsoft veteran Rodney Clark has been promoted to become the company's new global channel chief following Gavriella Schuster’s departure after five years in the top role. 

Schuster began her Microsoft career more than 25 years ago, starting out as a program manager, before eventually climbing through the corporate ranks. In 2014, she was promoted to general manager of worldwide partner programs and marketing, before accepting the top channel remit in 2016. 

In a blog on LinkedIn, Schuster said it was ‘time to pass the torch’ after contemplating whether it was time for a change.

“The restrictions brought on by COVID have given me time to reflect on and reconnect with my passions and to spark a new passion to drive a movement to shift the status quo and make an impact on inclusion and gender equity in the tech industry,” Schuster said. 

“I determined that I want to spend more time working on these priorities. At this same time, I was in conversation within Microsoft about the next steps of transformation for the business.  As a result, we concluded that now is a good time to begin to transition my current Microsoft accountabilities and focus on thinking about how to engage in work that fuels my passions.”

The new leadership transition will take place on 1 April, with Schuster focusing on transitioning her responsibilities to Clark. 

Clark himself has spent more than 20 years at Microsoft and was most recently the vice president of IoT and mixed reality sales. Prior to joining Microsoft, Clark spent eight years at IBM.

“I couldn’t be more excited to take on this new role and continue my passion for driving growth, innovation and success with our partners, and contribute to the next evolution of growth,” Clark said on LinkedIn. 

Microsoft global partner solutions vice president, Nick Parker highlighted Schuster’s accomplishments from leading the organisation through the formation of the One Commercial Partner team, the development of its cloud ecosystem to more than 90,000 successful partners, the maturation of the Cloud Solution Provider program and the evolution of MPN landing partner centre.

He also highlighted important outcomes through partner co-sell connecting partners to customers to grow their business.  

“Rodney has been no stranger to the channel, maintaining proximity and spending a vast majority of time dedicated to growing partner value,” Parker added. “His experience, passion, and commitment to not only accelerate the industry, but to push Microsoft through focus on building capability through partners, positions him incredibly well to help our partners continue to drive growth."