Microsoft names Chief Partner Officer - Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program

Microsoft names Chief Partner Officer


Next week kicks off our annual Microsoft Inspire conference, where tens of thousands of partners from around the world will join us as we discuss priorities for the coming year and explore shared opportunities for growth and innovation. It’s always an exciting time, as it provides a unique opportunity to share our plans for the coming year, and hear from partners about what matters to them and, importantly, what and how they can most successfully engage with Microsoft to scale and deliver customer success. With this backdrop, I’d like to share some important news about the evolution of our partner organization leadership team.

It is an honor to announce that Nicole Dezen will assume the newly created title of Chief Partner Officer (CPO) for Microsoft. Nicole will retain her role as CVP of Global Partner Solutions. Her new designation as CPO demonstrates our continued investment in our partner strategy and commitment to the importance of the entire partner ecosystem to Microsoft. As Chief Partner Officer, Nicole will have singular accountability for the commercial partner business. She will have a tremendous opportunity to lead, innovate and grow our mutual business with partners. I couldn’t be more excited for Nicole as she takes on this new leadership role for our phenomenal partner ecosystem.

With more than 25 years of tech sales experience, including the past 15 at Microsoft in various leadership roles in the partner organization, Nicole brings a unique perspective to our efforts, as well as a complete left-to-right view of the opportunities and challenges facing Microsoft partners around the world.

Nicole’s elevation to CPO at Microsoft shows our new, deeper approach to channel and ecosystem leadership and advocacy. Nicole has built two key leadership roles that will report to her. The first one will focus on sales and business growth with our channel partners, and will be led by David Smith, new VP of Channel Sales. The second will be accountable for partner programs and GTM engines, led by Julie Sanford, VP of Partner GTM, Programs & Experiences. These new roles and the increased investments we continue to make in our partner business demonstrate the importance of our ecosystem, the needs of our partners and the opportunity we have to serve customers together.

Our mission in the Global Partner Solutions organization is to build and sell Microsoft Cloud applications, and services and devices with partners, empowering people and organizations to achieve more. We will deliver on this with partners across our solution areas and industries, to create new customer value, and you’ll hear much more about this at Microsoft Inspire next week.

Today’s news, coupled with more news to come at Microsoft Inspire, is evidence that we are well positioned for our new fiscal year in the partner organization at Microsoft.


  • Nick Parker
    President, Industry & Partner Sales

    As President of the Industry & Partner Sales (IPS) organization, Nick Parker leads Microsoft's multi-billion-dollar sales business spanning industry, partner and enterprise commercial teams. The alliance of global Industry Teams, the Strategic Partnerships Team (SPT), the Enterprise Commercial Operations team, Global Partner Solutions (GPS), and IPS Strategy & Operations, adds increased dimension to Microsoft's sales capabilities. With Microsoft's unique and differentiated cloud technology, IPS drives business growth through creating new industry market opportunity, increased sales and consumption with industry solutions, strategic deal origination and acceleration, structured enterprise engagement and partner ecosystem success. Prior to leading the Industry & Partner Sales team, Parker was the Corporate Vice President of Global Partner Solutions organization where he led Microsoft's commercial partner business and was responsible for building and selling innovative devices, services and solutions with partners that empower customers across all industries. He collaborated with a broad set of commercial partners including service partners, device partners, Global Systems Integrators (GSIs), Advisory partners, and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to drive digital transformation, scale, business growth and profitability with partners. Parker was the Corporate Vice President of Consumer & Device Sales accountable for the company's intelligent edge device ecosystem revenue. In this role, he worked with OEMs, silicon partners, retailers, distribution partners and IoT partners, around the world, to design, build and sell devices with Microsoft experiences from Windows to Xbox, Game Pass, M365, Office, Server and Azure IoT services. Before leading the Consumer & Devices Sales organization, Parker was the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) team. His global team was responsible for working with hardware manufacturers to design, build and sell devices that deliver rich experiences with Microsoft innovation to customers. Parker also served as Vice President of OEM Marketing where he defined and executed worldwide marketing strategies, programs, and campaigns with OEM partners to achieve mutual business objectives and customer satisfaction. As General Manager of worldwide sales for HP at Microsoft, Parker was accountable for the HP and Microsoft product portfolio, sales and marketing strategy, investments, and resultant revenue. Prior to joining Microsoft, Parker entered the IT industry working for an Olivetti retailer, Research Machines and led sales for Visio that was acquired by Microsoft in 2000.