In a stunner today, Microsoft Corporate VP Bob Stutz stepped down from his job running Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
MSDynamicsWorld broke the story, and Microsoft has confirmed the news in a statement.
Bob Stutz will be leaving Microsoft and will take a well-deserved break. Over the past 3.5 years, Bob and his team have transformed Dynamics CRM from an industry challenger to a clear leader. We thank Bob for his contributions and wish him the best in his next adventure
A memo with the news went out to employees today at 4 pm, and Jujhar Singh, who has been a key player on the team, will be taking over for Stutz. As for Singh, Microsoft had this to say in a statement:
Jujhar has been a key driver of innovation in our CRM business and was responsible for the product strategy and direction of the Dynamics CRM product line and incubating newly acquired companies.
Chris Kanaracus, who is managing editor and principal analyst at Constellation Research, says it’s too soon to say how the change will affect the overall direction of the program.
“I think it is difficult for anyone to predict just what Jujhar Singh will do, but the Dynamics Convergence conference is coming up in 3-4 months. Any major strategic plans and messaging changes are going to start happening right now,” he said.
According to his online bio, Stutz was “responsible for defining the long-term strategy and technology direction as well as the development and delivery of on-premises and cloud versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM worldwide.”
The move is a big blow to Microsoft as Stutz has been a key player in building the Dynamics CRM tool, R Ray Wang is who is founder at Constellation Research told TechCrunch.
“He’s been building a team that has kept Salesforce on its toes. They turned Dynamics CRM into a worthy competitor for SFDC,” Wang said.
Over the last couple of years, Microsoft has been making a concerted effort to build up the CRM tool and try to compete more strongly with Salesforce, SAP and Oracle in the CRM market. To that end, it has built a cloud and on-premises version of the software and has a major update coming out at the end of this quarter (soon).
In a move to give upgrade the update some sex appeal, the company is integrating it with Microsoft Delve, a tool designed to help surface information, a key feature for busy sales people. It’s also integrating with the voice command module, Cortana, to enable users to interact with the program using voice commands, and it’s designed to work with the Cortana Analytics suite announced earlier this year.
All of this is designed to push the CRM tool, where Microsoft has lagged in marketshare behind Salesforce, SAP and Oracle.
There is speculation about where Stutz will land next, with some people suggesting it could be at one of Microsoft’s CRM rivals, but we will have to wait and see on that point.
Update 11/19/15: According to multiple reports, Stuz’s break didn’t last very long and he will be joining Salesforce as Chief Analytics Officer.Featured Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE