Only two weeks ago TechDay sat with Renaissance’s head of distribution Warwick Grey on our way to Brocade's Singapore Channel conference. He was positive about their distribution business and how he felt his team had really turned a corner. The focus was on brands like Brocade and Palo Alto, where he felt really positive about the momentum.
But things appear to have changed, with Grey handing in his resignation to CEO Richard Webb last week. He is off to his second home, Microsoft.
In an impressive career spanning a number of the key companies in New Zealand’s technology industry, Grey always seemed to be most comfortable and happy from 2000 to 2005 as small business marketing manager at Microsoft. He was and is an impressive presenter, especially to small business customers, who struggle to engage with what they see as an jargon-filled technology industry.
The role at Microsoft combines some of Grey’s key strengths, being in the consumer retail section with a focus on enabling channel partners. While Grey refuses to comment we understand the title to be 'consumer/retail product distribution manager'.
The loss will come as a blow for Renaissance, which also just lost Mark Singleton, who was general manager of the company’s retail division, responsible for the Yoobee brand.
Grey started Renaissance with his brother Trevor, selling the company to CED in the mid-90s. He returned in July 2010, as chief marketing officer, and was promoted to the top distribution role in June this year.
Update: Techday has learned that Grey will be replaced by Renaissance CIO, Doug Casement. Go here for more.
Update 2: Microsoft NZ has confirmed their appointment of Warwick Grey, in the role of distributor partner account manager - consumer products.
In the role, Grey will be responsible for managing the distributors of all of Microsoft's consumer products, including Windows, Windows Phone, Office, Xbox, and hardware. He will be based in Auckland and is due to start in late November.
David Rayner, director, Consumer Channels Group for Microsoft NZ, says Grey has 'significant and impressive' experience within the technology industry.
"We look forward to welcoming him back to the Microsoft New Zealand team and leveraging his extensive knowledge and experience," Rayner says.