Microsoft Goes South Again For Canadian President

Janet Kennedy, new president of Microsoft Canada

Janet Kennedy, new president of Microsoft Canada

Microsoft has once again looked south of the border for a new leader for the Canadian business, naming Janet Kennedy as new president of Microsoft Canada as former president Max Long heads back to Redmond.

Kennedy, an eleven-year Microsoft veteran, will take the helm at the company’s Mississauga, Ont. headquarters immediately, and the company said that she will be moving to the Toronto area in the near future. She comes to head up Canadian operations after spending five years as the company’s regional vice president for enterprise customers in the western United States. The company said that in that role, the business grew 33 percent to $3 billion. In a statement, the company gives Kennedy credit with being “instrumental in leading the transformation to the cloud with some of the largest and earliest customers on Office 365.”

“Microsoft has a clear mission to help people and businesses realize their full potential and I couldn’t be prouder to be joining the team helping Microsoft achieve its full potential here in Canada,” said Kennedy in a prepared statement. “The foundations that have been built by my predecessors are incredibly strong, and I’m honoured to be making Canada – and Microsoft Canada – my new home.”

Former president Long is on his way back to the U.S. less than 18 months after coming to Canada, this time to head up Microsoft’s services business in the Americas.

Kennedy arrives to head up the Canadian organization in the midst of considerable shakeup at the company. Along with Long’s departure, the company recently parted ways with former channel chief Greg Larnder, and Dennis Cerasoli, the company’s new head of its Small and Midsize Solutions and Partners Group in Canada, has just been in-country since July.

Beyond that, of course, there are broader shakeups at Microsoft, as it struggles with redefining its identity, and in some cases its relationships with partners, as a devices and services company rather than a pure software vendor.

Kennedy came to Microsoft from IBM, and has an education background in industry management and engineering from Purdue University, as well as an MBA from Queens University (in Charlotte, NC, not Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.).

She becomes the third Microsoft Canada chief in less than three years, following Long’s term, and the last of that of Eric Gales, now president of VMware Canada.