Don’t call it a comeback—Brad Wilson’s been here for years. After Microsoft’s top CRM executive was named an Influential Leader a record-setting three consecutive times, his 2009 absence caused quite a stir.
He hadn’t vanished; he was simply in the shadow cast by his own past triumphs of jump-starting the vendor’s CRM efforts—first for a full-suite offering, and then one delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS). Integration efforts raised Microsoft’s profile this year—and, by extension, Wilson’s.
“In the sometimes-revolving doors [of] Microsoft’s Dynamics leadership,” says China Martens, senior analyst for enterprise software at The 451 Group, “[Wilson]’s been a constant presence shepherding its CRM business—and getting it ‘SaaSy.’”
“Brad’s at the right time and right place for Microsoft,” says Ray Wang, a partner at Altimeter Group. “He’s infusing direction and vision to take the company into the enterprise while preserving its roots in [the small-and-midsize space].”
“Brad just ‘gets it’ more than most people,” says John Ragsdale, a vice president at the Technology Services Industry Association.