Robinson to play pivotal role as Microsoft MD

Microsoft will help NZ companies recognise the value they already have, says Robinson

Helen Robinson will take over as Microsoft New Zealand managing director at a very interesting time.

Robinson will take the helm at the start of Microsoft’s financial new year — July 1 — just in time for some major software launches.

“We’ve got a fantastic year ahead, not only in terms of the great products we’re announcing,” says Robinson.

She says the software industry and the online model are colliding and Microsoft will have to react accordingly.

“There’s an opportunity here to lay the foundation for the future in terms of things like the very way we buy software itself.”

Robinson takes over from Ross Peat who, after four years as MD and 14 with the company, is leaving Microsoft to spend more time with his family. Peat, who as corporate marketing manager oversaw the launch of Windows 2000, will also look at new business ventures in the New Zealand market.

Robinson says she won’t be making wholesale changes to Microsoft New Zealand’s structure right away.

“In the days and weeks to come before the change-over, I’m sure there’ll be a chance to review the operation. But it would be premature to say whether anything needs changing at this stage. We’ll work through the plan we’ve got.”

Robinson says Microsoft New Zealand has around 130 employees, three-quarters of whom are in sales and marketing.

Robinson was head of Microsoft’s small and medium-sized business division. She will be able to put this experience to good use as head of the organisation, she says.

“I’ve got a real passion for helping customers be successful. We’ll be taking a greater degree of interest in helping businesses maximise their investment in the technology they have.” Robinson says Microsoft will help companies “recognise and realise the value they already have”, something she says is vitally important to New Zealand business.

“Ninety six percent of companies in New Zealand are in the SME space and they stand to make the most from technology, if they can get at the tools they need.” Robinson joined Microsoft last year from CRM vendor Pivotal, where she was vice president for Australia and New Zealand.

Peat says he leaves Microsoft “in good hands.[Robinson] brings substantial sales and marketing insight, experience and personal commitment to further grow our New Zealand operation. Her in-depth understanding of the local industry and of managing a business put her in good stead for the road ahead.”

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