Microsoft continues to accelerate its transformation with appointment of new GM for Korea subsidiary

Leading IT industry veteran, Alfred Koh, is the latest executive to join Microsoft along with recent senior-level hires from Dell, Google, HP, Oracle and Salesforce.

Alfred KohSeoul, South Korea, 15 February, 2016 – Alfred Koh (Soondong Koh), a 33-year Korean IT industry executive, has been appointed as the new CEO for Microsoft’s Korea subsidiary, effective February 15, 2016. He will be based in Seoul, Korea.

Mr. Koh is a recognized leader in Korea with a proven track record of driving innovation and transformation for organizations worldwide. He was most recently president and Chief Executive Officer at Samsung SDS, a major subsidiary of Samsung that specializes in IT services, where he oversaw more than 15,000 employees.

“People are the most important asset for a successful corporation and, throughout my career I have tried to single-mindedly make employees feel passionate about their work and that they are part of an organization that takes care of its people and society at large. For me, success is all about team work and putting the customer at the center and heart of everything we do,” he said.

In his 10 years at Samsung SDS, Mr. Koh also held a number of critical and strategic leadership roles, such as heading the Strategy and Marketing, and Public Business divisions.

“My focus throughout my career has always been on customers – advancing and developing their business through technology – and this is what my focus will be at Microsoft, which has the best portfolio of services and solutions in the market. My goal is to help use these technologies, services and resources to help Korean businesses drive forward. Many customers in Korea have huge opportunities to optimize their use of technology, and Microsoft’s solutions can help those customers be more successful,” he said.

Mr. Koh’s career has been built on transformative leadership and experiences – critical attributes that enable him to actively contribute to the transformation underway at Microsoft. He also has a strong track record of growing and expanding businesses in the Asia Pacific, most notably at IBM, where he led the company’s business development and regional expansion efforts.

“We are witnessing a transformation at Microsoft right now. We are well-positioned to provide the platform and partnerships to help our customers achieve their potential by optimizing their use of technology and achieve more in this new mobile-first, cloud-first era. I truly believe people are the most important part of the business and I am excited to join a company where people are recognized, celebrated and developed,” he said.

Mr Koh is joining Microsoft at a time of huge opportunity around its commercial and consumer tablets and the commercial cloud.

Mr. Koh joins an exceptional group of experienced leaders focused on driving the continual transformation of Microsoft’s business together with its customers and partners in the region, and is the latest in a series of senior-level executives who have chosen to join Microsoft:

  • In January 2015, Thiyagu Letchumanan, left his role as Managing Director for HP Malaysia to head up Microsoft’s Enterprise Sales team in Malaysia
  • In April 2015, K Raman, Oracle Corporation’s Regional Managing Director for ASEAN and South Asia Growth Economies, joined Microsoft Malaysia as its new Managing Director
  • In July 2015, Dell’s Vice-President of Asia-Pacific and Japan, Barrie Sheers, joined Microsoft New Zealand as Managing Director
  • In October 2015, Area Vice President of Salesforce, Simon Davies, left the company to join Microsoft as Vice President of its Business Solutions Division
  • In January 2016, Managing Director of Google’s Cloud Platform for the Asia Pacific region, Ricky Kapur, joined Microsoft Asia Pacific as General Manager for its Enterprise and Partner Group.

Mr. Koh will report to Cesar Cernuda, President, Microsoft Asia Pacific and serve on the Microsoft APAC Leadership Team. Mr. Cernuda commented, “South Korea continues to be one of the most dynamic and key markets in the region. The respect that Alfred has garnered from the industry speaks to his deep knowledge of the business opportunities and challenges facing customers and partners. I look forward to seeing his depth of experience and genuine passion – for customers, partners and employees – accelerate our push for innovation and transformation.”

Ki-Young Choi, who has served as the interim General Manager for Microsoft Korea, will continue to play an important role in the growth of the subsidiary as Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. Koh graduated with a MBA from Washington University, U.S. and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Yonsei University, South Korea. He is married, with two daughters.

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