Microsoft U.S. Partner Sales General Manager Eric Martorano, who launched the software giant’s successful Cloud Champions program, is leaving the company to take a position as senior vice president of worldwide sales for Intermedia, one of Microsoft’s largest cloud partners.
Martorano, an eight-year Microsoft veteran who was responsible for $17 billion in commercial sales, is scheduled to take the top Intermedia sales job effective Sept. 15. Partners said Martorano’s departure is a loss that will be felt within the Microsoft channel community. At the same, they said it is a channel game-changer for Mountain View, Calif.-based Intermedia, a fast-growing cloud services company.
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Tony Safoian, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based SADA Systems, a Google and Microsoft cloud partner, said Martorano did the heavy lifting to get Microsoft’s cloud program off the ground.
“Eric was there on the front lines during the most challenging time in Microsoft’s existence not only from a product standpoint in terms of the evolution of the cloud, but for the partner ecosystem evolution,” said Safoian. “Eric was not afraid to have the tough conversations with partners about what they needed to do to continue to be relevant.”
Safoian credited Martorano’s “open and candid” style as key to Microsoft’s success in the cloud market. “You could always get the real story from Eric,” he said. “He would always give it to you straight.”
When Safoian first met Martorano at CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange conference, Safoian was selling Google Docs cloud solutions but not Microsoft’s Office 365. “I think Eric was a visionary,” he said. “Eric always had our back during a time when it was very controversial to bring us on board. He supported us and backed us up as a strong channel advocate. He always saw the big picture and believed in us and the value we provided to customers. His strategy was to give us a big bear hug, not push us away because we were Google partners.”
Safoian said the Intermedia job gives Martorano a “great opportunity” to make another big impact on the channel. At the same, he said he firmly believes in Microsoft Vice President of U.S. Stephen Boyle’s leadership.
“Boyle has the right DNA in terms of where Microsoft is at now to reinvigorate and restructure the partner organization for a new generation of Microsoft partners.”
Boyle in a prepared statement wished Martorano well in his new position with Intermedia. “The move is beneficial for the partner community as he is well respected in the industry and known for his business and channel leadership,” said Boyle.
In the wake of Martorano’s departure, Jeff Turner, a 12-year Microsoft veteran, is taking over as general manager of SMB distribution. In addition, Shawn Toldo will continue as director of Microsoft’s coveted licensing service provider partnerships and Eric Loper will continue to run the national solution provider business.