Director of Strategy – EMEA Date Center Operations


About the job

Microsoft’s Global Cloud Operations is the engine that powers our cloud services. Our infrastructure is comprised of a large global portfolio of more than one hundred datacenters and one million servers. Our foundation is built upon and managed by a team of subject matter experts, who work tirelessly to support digital services for more than one billion customers and twenty million businesses in over ninety countries worldwide.

With environmental sustainability and optimization at the forefront of our datacenter design and operations, and the overarching Microsoft mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, we have ambitious plans to grow and evolve as we meet the ever-changing and ever-increasing business demands that position Microsoft as a world-class provider. Underpinning these business imperatives, our culture is centered on embracing a growth mindset, a theme of inspiring excellence, and encouraging teams and leaders to bring their best each day.

The GM EMEA Data Centre Operations is seeking a Director of Strategy to work as a central member of the EMEA Data Centre Operations Leadership Team, and take the lead role in supporting the execution of operations related strategic programs within EMEA Datacenter Operations. The focus will be on working with the GM to ensure rigorous and disciplined strategic change execution, delivered in harmony with day-to-day performance excellence across datacenter operations. In this role, you will enable the leadership team to focus on the most important initiatives by being the coordinator of operations related strategic planning and governance for the region, making sure it aligns with day-to-day operational requirements, and liaising with all key internal and external stakeholders to that end

This is a significant role in terms of scope, responsibility, influence and also potential personal growth – it will be an opportunity to work with a diverse and senior network of stakeholders across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, to shape and deliver a significant service growth ambition, while working side-by-side with datacentre operations leadership to make a defining impact on the trajectory and success of one of Microsoft’s fastest growing service domains.

Leadership dexterity, exceptional organizational skills, an unrelenting community, end-user, and customer focus alongside the ability to execute at pace and with empathy are defining attributes. Strategic analysis, planning and problem solving are a pre-requisite, in addition to managing complex stakeholder sets. Technical experience would be a plus, as would the ability and experience of working across a diverse region such as EMEA.


Key responsibilities of the role:

  • Strategic Programme Planning: Support the development of a multi-year EMEA datacentre operations roadmap, working closely with the GM and all key stakeholders, and coordinate its execution, governance, and ongoing review to ensure that the division is in sync with and supporting the broader goals and mission of CO+I and Microsoft. This will involve participation in overall strategy development as it relates to EMEA datacentre operations, to assist in translating strategic intent to executable plans and operating models along with the required governance methods.
  • Solution Design: Provide consultation and advice to the team around strategic analysis and solutioning, operational excellence, stakeholder engagement and execution planning
  • Business Change: Partner with the GM and Leadership Team members to define, diagnose and execute business change activities that ensure the successful implementation of Datacentre Operations strategic plans.
  • Operational Planning: Develop and coordinate the in-year strategic operating plan with the GM and Leadership Team, and oversee its execution through monitoring, triage, and reporting activities.
  • Research, Reporting, and Insights: Identify key research themes, insight requirements and critical business metrics that are required to help guide, challenge and measure success of the strategic and operational plans, and put in place the methods and formats to ensure regular and adhoc delivery requirements are met.


Key Competencies for the role:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, management, or a related field (advanced degree preferred) – A must
  • Proven experience in change management, strategic planning, or a similar leadership role working at C-suite level – A must
  • Experience driving complex programmes of work in a wide range of business areas, and demonstrated success of delivering a variety of complex project assignments in parallel, accompanied by excellent project management skills – A must
  • Experience partnering with operations teams with a proven ability to influence technical peers and senior leaders – A must
  • Excellent business acumen, and a comprehensive understanding of organizational dynamics
  • Uses knowledge of the organisation and its interrelated constituent parts, industry, context, and business strategy to support and provide insight to business decision making about strategic, operational, organisational and investment choices
  • Ability to maintain a high-level view of the desired business and stakeholder outcomes, with the experience to anticipate risks and plan mitigating actions
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, with a data-driven mindset and a hunger for knowledge
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to influence and collaborate effectively at all levels of the organization
  • Proficiency in using productivity tools and software for project management, data analysis, and presentations
  • Strong leadership qualities, including the ability to work in a matrix and motivate teams, foster innovation, and drive results
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills, with a very keen attention to detail
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with utmost discretion
  • Flexibility and adaptability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment
  • Awareness of and empathy to the cultural diversification and influence factors spanning the region, and the ability to influence and navigate the culture fabric of EMEA
  • Be open to adopting flexible working arrangements, noting some dexterity may be required from time to time to accommodate the GM’s schedule and urgent matters

Background Check Requirements

Ability to meet Microsoft, customer and/or government security screening requirements are required for this role. These requirements include, but are not limited to the following specialized security screenings:

  • Microsoft Cloud Background Check: This position will be required to pass the Microsoft Cloud background check upon hire/transfer and every two years thereafter.

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. Consistent with applicable law, all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, immigration status, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran or military status, race, ethnicity, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable local laws, regulations and ordinances. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application process, read more about requesting accommodations.

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