REDMOND, Wash., April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced several changes to the leadership team of Microsoft International, including changes to the top leaders in Microsoft Greater China Region (GCR), Microsoft United Kingdom (U.K.) and Microsoft Germany.
Ralph Haupter, currently serving as area vice president (AVP) for Microsoft Germany, has been promoted to corporate vice president and named CEO for Microsoft GCR. Haupter is replacing Simon Leungwho has decided to leave Microsoft for personal and family reasons. Gordon Frazer, currently serving as managing director (MD) for Microsoft U.K., has been named chief operating officer (COO) for Microsoft GCR. He is replacing Michel van der Bel, who will assume the role of MD for Microsoft U.K. Haupter and van der Bel will report to Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, and Frazer will report to Haupter.
"As Microsoft looks forward to our next wave of growth and innovation, we consider these new leaders for the Greater China team as a great complement to our very strong existing team. These changes reflect a deep commitment to both the region and to creating new opportunities and challenges for our most talented people," Courtois said. "China represents an unprecedented opportunity for growth across the breadth of our business, and I am confident in the leadership abilities of Ralph, Gordon and the extended Greater China leadership team to help us execute on those opportunities and deliver the benefits of technology to many more of the 1 billion-plus people of Greater China."
Haupter is a seven-year veteran of Microsoft, having delivered excellent and sustainable results in growth and profitability and repeatedly proving his ability to build and grow high-performing, diverse organizations. He previously served as head of the partner division for Europe, Middle East and Africa and general manager (GM) of Microsoft's Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners Group for Western Europe, both based in Paris, and served as COO for Microsoft Germany before becoming the German AVP. Before that, he worked for IBM both in Germany and internationally.
Frazer is a 16-year veteran of Microsoft, having served as the GM for Microsoft South Africa for four years and most recently as the Microsoft U.K. MD for the past six years. He brings a tremendous amount of operational expertise to the Microsoft GCR team from his various roles across both developed and emerging markets. His leadership in managing the full breadth and depth of Microsoft's business in the U.K. will serve as a strong asset in helping take Microsoft China's operations to the next level of efficiency and growth.
A 13-year veteran of Microsoft, van der Bel previously served as COO of Microsoft GCR, as VP of public sector for Microsoft International and as GM of the Netherlands. While in China, he helped transform that business to grow faster than the market and drove significant improvements in employee satisfaction and key initiatives, including compliance and licensing. He brings to Microsoft U.K. proven expertise in building strong teams, as well as sales, marketing and services excellence.
"I am incredibly optimistic about the deep expertise, discipline and energy Michel will bring to Microsoft U.K. and am committed to finding an excellent leader for Microsoft Germany," Courtois said. "Germany and the U.K. are among our largest and most strategic markets outside the United States, and we are deeply invested in ensuring the ongoing growth of those businesses and exceeding the expectations of our customers there."
Microsoft International comprises all of Microsoft's operations outside North America. Microsoft GCR comprises the businesses in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong SAR, and includes deep and ongoing investments across sales, marketing, services, research and development. Microsoft is celebrating its 20th anniversary of operations in China in 2012.
Courtois concluded by saying, "I'd like to thank Simon and Michel for their contributions to Greater China, including strong performance over the past 11 quarters of consecutive growth, and their dedication to designing and laying the foundation for our next phase of growth, which Ralph and Gordon will now carry forward."
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.