Microsoft snags Qualcomm veteran Peggy Johnson to lead business development

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) confirmed that it hired longtime Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) executive Peggy Johnson as its new executive vice president of business development. The hiring, which was first rumored last week, is the first major executive appointment for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella since he took over the software giant in February.

microsoft qualcomm peggy johnson


Johnson will report directly to Nadella and will be responsible for "driving strategic business deals and partnerships across various industries with key customers, strategic innovation partners, OEMs, key accounts, third-party publishers and industry influencers," according to Microsoft.

"Peggy shares our worldview and knows what it takes to drive new growth in mobility and the cloud," Nadella said in a statement. "Her experience uniquely positions her to lead Microsoft's business development efforts, and she will be a great addition to our senior leadership team."

The hiring comes as Microsoft is preparing to cut 18,000 jobs, including 12,500 former Nokia (NYSE:NOK) employees Microsoft acquired via its acquisition of Nokia's devices business. The layoffs are the largest in Microsoft's history and are part of Nadella's vision of turning Microsoft into a "mobile-first, cloud-first" company that enhances consumer and enterprise productivity.

Johnson, who had been with Qualcomm for 24 years, had most recently served as executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and president of global market development. She was responsible for commercializing new business opportunities and developing strategic relationships for the chipset vendor. Johnson also headed up Qualcomm's global marketing organization and oversaw Qualcomm Labs, which focuses on launching new businesses and products.

Johnson joined Qualcomm in 1989 and is probably best-known for her tenure as the president of the high-profile Qualcomm Internet Services and MediaFLO Technologies division, where she helped develop BREW and other solutions including QChat and UIOne. While overseeing BREW, Johnson was credited for her team's ability to develop solid relationships with carriers around the world--no small feat. In January 2008, Johnson was part of a Qualcomm restructuring and was named executive vice president of the Americas and India. She was later named executive vice president and head of global development, where she was responsible for commercializing new business opportunities that reside outside of existing Qualcomm business units. In 2011, Johnson was listed as one of FierceWireless' Most Influential Women in Wireless.

Eric Rudder, an executive vice president at Microsoft, will no longer be in charge of business development but will still handle advanced strategy and report to Nadella.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Re/code article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this CNET article

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