John Ball bounces up Microsoft hill

John Ball bounces up Microsoft hill

After five years at Microsoft Australia, distribution manager John Ball has accepted a promotion and will take up a position as the software giant's Asia-Pacific regional director of channels.

Ball said he will leave Australia on August 15, moving with his wife and four children to Singapore where he will be "basically doing my current role but for the whole region".

He currently looks after a broad range of distribution responsibilities in Australia, including engagement with distributors, OEM assemblers and direct relationship resellers. Ball said that his new role will entail "setting the strategy for partner engagement across the region" and coordinating the efforts of the distribution managers in each of the Asia-Pacific country offices.

"I will be putting the strategy together and working out how we can bring the rest of the region up to where Australia is," he said. "The role is very much to build seamless strategy and direction for infrastructure and programs across the region.

"In Australia, we have actually worked very hard over the last couple of years or more in building a broad channel engagement infrastructure. There has been some good work done elsewhere but now we want to get a consistent regional view."

Ball's vacated position in Australia will be filled by current Melbourne branch manager Kirsten Baxter, a channel-experienced veteran of over five years with the company. Baxter started her Microsoft career as a partner account manager and graduated to being a sales manager before taking on the Melbourne branch manager role.

She will now be moving to Sydney to take over the running of the software company's 26-strong distribution team. There will be no disruption to the current partner strategy, according to Ball.

"The good thing is that there is actually a very strong, capable person moving into the role and the strategy that has been set is the one that we will be executing on," he said.

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