Microsoft Philippines GM Quits, Announces Leadership Transition

It’s always a big news in tech circles everytime management changes are announced. Questions and speculations as to why the change was made will be the topic of the day.

When a new general manager is appointed to any company, more often than not, this is a signal for change, often times these changes are defensive – the company is underperforming. Even if the company is doing well, there are times when new leadership is needed to take the company to the next level. In both cases, the message is change.

The local tech industry was surprised when Microsoft Corp. announced that Rafael “Pepeng” Rollan has decided to leave Microsoft Philippines and that the company has begun a search for his successor.

Rollan joined Microsoft in 2002 as sales manager for enterprise accounts and held the post of Director, Enterprise and Partner Group before being named Managing Director in 2007. Under his leadership, Microsoft Philippines successfully launched products such as Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Visual Studio 2008.

The subsidiary also continued expansion of its corporate citizenship initiatives, including programs for overseas Filipino workers, former and potential victims of human trafficking, and projects dedicated to using technology to enhance local education.

“I have enjoyed my time with Microsoft Philippines,” said Rollan, who will remain with the company until September, 2009. “I look forward to working with the team over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.”

“We wish to thank Pepeng for his contribution and service, and to wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Ken Wye Saw, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Microsoft Asia Pacific. “Our commitment to Microsoft Philippines remains strong and Pepeng’s extended transition will allow us to continue to deliver exemplary service to our customers and partners.”

According to sources, the person heading the Malaysian subsidiary is being tapped to lead the local Microsoft office. I myself prefer to have a local executive heading Microsoft Philippines.

Regardless of who will be the new GM of Microsoft Philippines, being a CEO is arguably the toughest job going. The challenge to meet targets and reshaping the company will be at the CEOs back at all times.

If the company does well, the CEO shares the accolades with the entire team. If the company fails, the CEO takes all the blame. A thankless job really.

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