Leaked memo: The key exec who helped Microsoft score the JEDI cloud contract is leaving

  • Two high-profile women executives are leaving Microsoft.
  • US Regulated Industries President Toni Townes-Whitley will step down Sept. 30, per an internal memo.
  • Kate Johnson, president of Microsoft US, announced on LinkedIn plans to leave the company.

Two high-profile woman executives are leaving Microsoft.

Toni Townes-Whitley, who runs Microsoft’s sales for regulated industries like financial services, government, and education, will step down Sept. 30, according to an email sent to employees in her organization on Wednesday.

“Toni Townes-Whitley has decided to transition away from Microsoft to reset and prepare for her next big transformational role in a new industry,” Kate Johnson, president of Microsoft US, wrote in an email. 

Townes-Whitley in a follow-up email suggested she would announce a new role as a board director with a Fortune 500 company later this fall, and “take some time to reset, reconnect with [my] family, and focus on [her] board work.” Townes-Whitley already serves on the board of directors at PNC Bank, Johns Hopkins Medical, and United Way Worldwide.

Townes-Whitley is best-known in the industry for her role in helping Microsoft score the $10 billion Pentagon Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) deal, a big cloud project around storing and managing sensitive military and defense data. Microsoft has yet to begin work on the JEDI project, however, amid an ongoing legal challenge from Amazon.

Also on Wednesday, Johnson herself announced on LinkedIn that she will be leaving the company after she helps her replacement start off the company’s next fiscal year beginning in July. “Then I plan to take some great advice that I got last year and just ‘be still’ for a while, imagining the possibilities for how I might contribute – meaningfully and differently – to the world around me,” Johnson wrote. “Stay tuned.”

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reported on the departures earlier Wednesday.

“Kate Johnson, President, Microsoft U.S., and Toni Townes-Whitley, President, U.S. Government & Regulated Industries, have decided to leave the company for personal reasons,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. “We are deeply grateful for their respective contributions and wish them all the best in the future.”

Microsoft’s fiscal year ends Wednesday. The turn of the fiscal year is typically the time when the company makes changes to its organizational structure. 

Do you work at Microsoft or have insight to share? Contact reporter Ashley Stewart via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email ([email protected]).

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