Leadership revamp at Microsoft Malaysia

  • MD Carlos Lacerda returns to Portugal for ‘personal and family reasons’
  • Former HP Malaysia country manager joins as director, new public sector lead

Leadership revamp at Microsoft MalaysiaTHERE has been a major revamp in the management lineup at Microsoft Malaysia, with managing director Carlos Lacerda (pic) leaving Microsoft Corp itself after just two years at the helm of the local subsidiary, while two new senior executives have also been appointed.
Microsoft Malaysia announced Lacerda’s appointment in November, 2012. His last day was Dec 31, 2014.
In a note to employees obtained by Digital News Asia (DNA), Microsoft Asia Pacific president Cesar Cernuda said that Lacerda was leaving for “personal and family reasons.”
In that note, Cernuda praised Lacerda for having “developed a strong culture of accountability and compliance, with the subsidiary consistently delivering above budget and forecast, growing more than 23%.”
Lacerda was an 18-year company veteran, although he left Microsoft in 2009 before returning to take on the Malaysia role in 2012, replacing Ananth Lazarus who had been appointed partner sales lead for the Asia Pacific region.
The hunt is on for his replacement, with sources telling DNA that the frontrunner for the role is another long-time Microsoft veteran, Haresh Khoobchandani, the Singaporean currently in charge of the company’s operations in Thailand. He was also previously chief operating officer at Microsoft Indonesia.
Leadership revamp at Microsoft MalaysiaMeanwhile, in an official statement, Microsoft Malaysia announced the appointment of former Hewlett-Packard Malaysia country manager Thiyagu Letchumanan (pic) as director of its Enterprise & Partner Group (EPG).
As EPG director, he will be responsible for the company’s private enterprise customers. The 25-year industry veteran had also previously served with Compaq and Siemens, leading their services and solutions businesses.
“I am very excited to begin my new journey at Microsoft in the midst of its current transformation, and with an increased focus on continuous innovation, for the mobile-first and cloud-first era,” Thiyagu said in the statement.
“I am confident that, with the current strategies in place, we can deliver dramatically enhanced value and differentiation to our customers and partners,” he added.
Thiyagu is a graduate in computer science from University Science Malaysia in Penang.
The company also appointed Nik Ariff Nik Omar as public sector lead, replacing Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah, the former Khazanah Nasional executive who had only taken on the role in January, 2013.
Nik Ariff is tasked with developing and delivering solutions in five keys areas – productivity, mobility, cloud, big data/ analytics and social enterprise.
He brings with him more than 26 years of experience in the IT industry, having previously held a similar role at SAP Malaysia and Brunei for three years, leading the public sector, healthcare and education team, where he helped grow the business substantially, Microsoft Malaysia said.
Leadership revamp at Microsoft MalaysiaHis industry experience also includes various leadership roles with IBM, Percetakan Nasional Bhd (a Ministry of Finance company under Ministry of Home Affairs), and Avnet Malaysia.
“I feel privileged to continue in this unique role leading the public sector business here at Microsoft,” said Nik Ariff (pic).
“Not only do I have the chance to continue with the same passion and commitment to deliver Microsoft’s plans and objectives, the role also gives me the opportunity to help shape the nation, while helping the Government improve and deliver better services to all,” he added.
Nik Ariff holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Concordia University, Montreal, and a Master’s of Engineering from University of Toronto, Canada.
“We are pleased to welcome two very experienced local industry veterans as part of our leadership team at Microsoft Malaysia,” Cernuda said in the official statement by Microsoft.
“Thiyagu and Nik Ariff are important additions who will play an integral role in Microsoft’s ongoing people investments as it transforms to be the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first era,” he added.
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