This is going to be a sad but exciting week for me. Sad because I’m going to say goodbye to my extended family of coworkers and friends at Microsoft and exciting because I’m joining the most innovative networking company on the planet – more about this in a minute.
So why the move? Susan and I have always planned on moving back to Virginia. It was never a question of if, but rather a question of when. The plan of record was to wait until our daughter started college, but we recently found ourselves in a situation that required us to accelerate the time line a tad. This necessitated the need to find an organization that would provide me with a great opportunity and the ability to live on the east coast.
While exploring next steps, I was approached by several great organizations about joining their leadership teams. I was truly humbled to be approached by these companies. One organization stood out from the rest in the group. They have an industry leading product, and presented me with the opportunity to do something that I truly love – so on Thursday, I will join Juniper Networks as the Vice President of JUNOS Partner Evangelism. If you don’t know about JUNOS you will - just give me a couple of months.
Juniper designs and sells high-performance Internet Protocol network products and services. Their main products include T-series, M-series, E-series, MX-series, and J-series families of routers, EX-series Ethernet switches and SRX-series security products. JUNOS, Juniper’s network operating system runs on most Juniper products. In 2009, Juniper debuted on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for and ranked 4 in Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies listed in the Networking Communications category. They received the Association of Support Professionals Years Ten Best Web Support Sites award in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
As you can see Juniper is a great organization but so is Microsoft. I can’t begin to express the pleasure it has been to work for the Microsoft Corporation. The professional and personal growth opportunities provided me over the last eight years was nothing short of tremendous. My fondest memories will be those of working with great leaders over the years like Sanjay Parthasarathy, S. Somasegar, Dan’l Lewin, Cliff Reeves, Jeff Raikes, Bob Muglia, Brad Anderson, Robert Wahbe, Bill Lang, Scott Guthrie, Eric Rudder, Kyril Faenov, Michael Parks, Colette Kress, Tom Casey, Kyril Tatarinov, Simon Witts, Ted Kummert, Vic Gundotra, Mark Young, Bob Kelly, David Campbell, Charles Fitzgerald, Jason Zander, Eric Zocker, Eduardo Rosini, Austin Mulinder, Sheila Gulati and Walid Abu-Hadba.
When I reflect back over the years, a core set of people have truly made Microsoft a special place to work. Individuals like Janie Schwark, Brian Goldfarb, Lisa Applegate, Tom Honeybone, Dan Lohmeyer, Dewey Forrester, Alex Pombo, Kara Westhusing, Dave Mendlen, Rob Craft, Deana Singleton, Rob Bernard, Steve Lewis, Pat Donka, Karl Noakes, Bill Hilf, Mike Glass, Eric Morse, Angus Norton, Dan Nault, Yvette Wagner, Oliver Sharp, Turi Widsteen, Karolin Beck, Mitra Azizriad, Neil Leslie, Jeff Sandquist, Angus Norton, Daz Wilkin, Mark Lenci, Tim O’Brian, Prashant Ketkar, Burley Kawasaki, Zane Adams and Neil Charney.
I had the good fortune to work with two great teams while at Microsoft that focused on the developer community. When I think back on what we accomplished all I can say is that I’m extremely proud to have worked with such a dedicated group of individuals.
It feels good to leave with the knowledge that such a high performing team is in place to continue to drive the business forward. Their accomplishments is a testimony to their hard work and dedication to the business. I don’t think you will find a better set of individuals at any company.
Finally, even though I’m leaving Microsoft as an employee, it is a good feeling to know that I will still be a shareholder, customer and partner for years to come. Susan and I are grateful for the kindness that Microsoft has shown us over the years. Now it’s on to my next adventure. I’ll be heading for the second star to the right and then straight on till morning or until I run into the Mill Mountain Star in Roanoke (which ever comes first).