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Microsoft shakes up emerging market unit

Anoop Gupta takes the helm, longtime Windows executive Will Poole will retire this fall, and Orlando Ayala takes a new role inside Microsoft's sales organization.

SAO PAULO, Brazil--Microsoft on Monday shifted the leadership of its emerging market unit, placing former unified communications chief Anoop Gupta at the helm.

Orlando Ayala, the Microsoft executive who had been leading the unit (and with whom I had been traveling with in Colombia) is shifting to a new role inside Kevin Turner's sales unit, while Microsoft veteran Will Poole is retiring from Microsoft this fall. Poole, who had been heading the unit with Ayala, is a former top Windows executive, while Ayala had been sales chief and head of the midmarket group at Microsoft, prior to joining the company's Unlimited Potential effort.

Anoop Gupta Microsoft

Gupta will report to Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer.

"The mission of (the Unlimited Potential unit) is one that fits naturally with Craig's charter to develop the long-cycle research, innovation, and business incubations that will impact the future of technology--and the role it can play in addressing societal needs in areas like health care, education, and scientific discovery," Microsoft said in a statement.

Gupta plans to hire two new corporate vice presidents to oversee Microsoft's educational and emerging market products, Microsoft said.

Poole will report to Mundie until he leaves in the fall, while Microsoft called Ayala's job an expanded role but offered only vague indications of what he is doing, saying he will be involved in "external evangelism, field engagement, and direct input on strategy."