Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of the Data Platform Group Ted Kummert has left the firm he joined in 1989 for the Madrona Venture Group, where he will work as a venture capitalist.
Madrona Ventures, a Seattle-based VC firm is a natural fit for Kummert, given its investments into firms such as Tier 3, and Context Relevant, the latter of which works with analytics and big data. Kummert’s roles at Microsoft included working on Windows Azure Data Services, and other key data projects that had him at the center of Microsoft’s evolving push into the cloud.
According to the official release, Kummert will both assist Madrona in finding new companies to invest in, and also the management of firms already in its portfolio. Citing the rising profile of Software as a Service products, the cloud, and “data analytics,” Madrona cast Kummert as a key hire.
As GeekWire noted this morning, Madrona has been on something of a streak in the last year, raising a $300 million venture fund. That cash, its largest raise to date, puts a strong onus on the VC group to perform. New talent is perhaps a simple way to ensure that the firm has enough intellectual bandwidth to process deal flow to match its fund size.
The obvious losing party in this is Microsoft, as Kummert will help in the funding of Seattle-based companies that will compete with it for talent, and it likely isn’t too happy to lose one of its vice presidents, most especially in this area where it is investing so heavily. For the growing startup scene in Seattle, a hardy bunch, however, this is something of a coup.
TNW has learned that Satya Nadella, current head of the Server and Tools business division at Microsoft will take over Kummert’s role, managing the Data Platform Group directly. It’s not particuarly uncommon for this sort of arrangemtn to exist while the proper replacement is decided upon, and installed.
Microsoft declined to provide TNW with a comment on the announcement.
Top Image Credit: Bryce Edwards
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