Microsoft snaps up AWS executive to lead EMEA industry business

Headshot of Darren Hardman turned slightly away from the camera but head tilted to look directly into the lens
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has announced the appointment of former AWS executive Darren Hardman as its new EMEA industry leader and corporate vice president.

An experienced innovation leader, Hardman joins the tech giant from AWS, where he served as vice president and general manager for the UK and Ireland, the cloud company’s second-largest geographic unit.

Before that, he held the role of EMEA president at IT consulting and services firm Avanade.

Reporting to EMEA president Ralph Haupter, Hardman will now lead Microsoft’s regional industry team in advancing its strategy and execution around Microsoft’s key industry customers across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

“I am absolutely thrilled to step into the EMEA industry lead role at Microsoft,” Hardman said. “The approach Microsoft is taking to help industry customers transform perfectly aligns with my own ethos around the importance of maintaining a total focus on customer success.

“It’s unbelievably exciting to see the co-innovation that’s being driven with businesses like Mercedes, retailer Żabka, and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company.”

Microsoft said Hardman’s appointment is a fruit of its commitment to helping enterprise customers pursue their digital transformation in the face of “continued economic headwinds and market uncertainty”.


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The hire will also help the company address challenges around sustainability, supply chain resilience, and changing employee expectations as businesses become more data-led, it added.

Spanning several sectors such as retail, manufacturing, FSI, health, and non-profit, the company’s industry clouds combine the Azure platform and Microsoft tools with common data models, workflows, APIs, as well as industry-specific components and standards.

As the new EMEA leader, Hardman will help drive the continued evolution of these offerings, which Microsoft says will help customers decrease time to value and transform “on their own terms”.

“With today’s economic pressures, the urgency for entire industries to transform at scale has never been greater,” Hardman added.

“We need to truly understand a customer’s marketplace, the challenges they face and the opportunities that have yet to be unlocked. I look forward to hitting the ground running and work with this amazing team.”

Daniel Todd

Dan is a freelance writer and regular contributor to ChannelPro, covering the latest news stories across the IT, technology, and channel landscapes. Topics regularly cover cloud technologies, cyber security, software and operating system guides, and the latest mergers and acquisitions.

A journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University, he combines a passion for the written word with a keen interest in the latest technology and its influence in an increasingly connected world.

He started writing for ChannelPro back in 2016, focusing on a mixture of news and technology guides, before becoming a regular contributor to ITPro. Elsewhere, he has previously written news and features across a range of other topics, including sport, music, and general news.