Background Story on breaking the Kevin Timmons news

2 days ago I started getting e-mail from people asking if I had heard Kevin Timmons was leaving Microsoft.  I would go to Google News and Twitter to see if there was anyone discussing Kevin leaving Microsoft.  24 hours later, after bunches more e-mail and phone conversations I felt the news was pretty much out there, but I was still hesitant to blog about Kevin leaving as it felt just too much like gossip.  Then a good friend and I were chatting and we bounced a bunch of ideas and laughed about the Manchurian Candidate which is used here.

In one of the data center insider conversations a friend jokingly mentioned The Manchurian Candidate where sleeper agents are placed in strategic positions, and later are activated for covert activities.  With so many executives moving from competing companies will there be psychological analysis looking for latent devious action?  Nah. But, it was good for a laugh.  Which by the way is part of chatting about who is moving where.  We eventually start laughing about some move somewhere which could make this appear like gossip.  But, we know the data center executive shortage is real, and where the scarce resources go influences the system.

Then I remembered the e-mail Mike Manos shared on how he recruited Daniel Costello another person who left Microsoft who went to Google.

Mike Manos is proud of his renegade action to recruit Daniel from Intel to Microsoft while he had the job that Kevin Timmons had filled and now departed.

I called him [Daniel Costello] and told him I needed him for my program.  No HR.  No Recruiters.  I wanted the best talent possible and he was it.   I offered him the job on the spot over the phone.   We were building something incredible.

These ideas inspired me to write about the Data Center Shortage of Data Center Executives.

Part of the fun I had writing this post was to give just enough details to make it interesting, and leave plenty of room for other media to tell a different story and do their own research.  Rich Miller at DataCenterKnowledge was  the first to pick up the news and get the Dayne Sampson quote.  And DataCenterDynamics followed referencing Rich, then the news reached the viral stage and was spreading rapidly to other media, bloggers, and Twitter.

Here are the current news coverage.

Yoink! Apple Grabs Microsoft's Data Center Chief

Forbes (blog) - Brian Caulfield - ‎35 minutes ago‎

Apple has hired the man who runs Microsoft's data center services group, data center industry blog Green Data Center blog revealed Wednesday. The news comes as Apple finishes construction of a new 500000 foot data center in Maiden, ...

Apple Steals Microsoft Employee To Run Its Mysterious New Data Center (AAPL, MSFT)

San Francisco Chronicle - ‎6 hours ago‎

Apple is ramping up its data centers, and now it has a new person to help: Kevin Timmons, who has led Microsoft's data center business for the last two years or so. Microsoft confirmed to Data Center Knowledge that he's left the company, ...

Microsoft's datacenter whiz to take “leadership position” at Apple. Is Netflix ...

9 to 5 Mac - ‎4 hours ago‎

MacRumors spotted an interesting report by Data Center Knowledge claiming Kevin Timmons, Microsoft's former high-ranked exec in charge of their worldwide data center operations, is expected to take a “leadership” position. Prior to spending two years ...

Microsoft data center GM leaves, reportedly for Apple

GeekWire - Todd Bishop - ‎4 hours ago‎

The general manager in charge of Microsoft's data center operations, Kevin Timmons, has left the company for a job at Apple, according to reports by Data Center Knowledge and the Green Data Center Blog. Timmons joined Microsoft two years ago from Yahoo ...

Apple (AAPL) Reportedly Snaps Up Microsoft (MSFT) Cloud Creator (subscription) - ‎4 hours ago‎

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has reportedly wooed away the man who helped build Microsoft Corp.'s (NASDAQ: MSFT) data centers that powered its cloud operations. Kevin Timmons, the general manager of datacenter services at Microsoft, has left the company ...

Apple snags Microsoft's data center manager

Macgasm - ‎5 hours ago‎

Apple has hired Kevin Timmons according to sources, but his capacity at Apple is still unknown. Previously Timmons was the general manager of Microsoft's data center group, and he has also previously worked for GeoCities/Yahoo. ...

Apple woos data center guru away from Microsoft for cloud services

Apple Insider - Neil Hughes - ‎7 hours ago‎

The man who helped build data centers for Microsoft's cloud operations is said to have left the Redmond, Wash., software giant to work for Apple. Kevin Timmons, general manager of datacenter services at Microsoft, has left the company to ...

Kevin Timmons leaves Microsoft

DatacenterDynamics - Penny Jones - ‎9 hours ago‎

Microsoft's general manager for data center operations Kevin Timmons has left, and according to media reports, is headed to Apple. Microsoft CVP of Global Foundation Services Dayne Samson, in a statement issued today, said: “Kevin Timmons, ...

Microsoft Data Center GM Timmons Heads to Apple

Data Center Knowledge - Rich Miller - ‎12 hours ago‎

Kevin Timmons, who helped build the data centers that power Microsoft's global cloud computing operation, has left the company and is expected to take a leadership position at Apple. The move strongly hints that Apple is stepping up its plans for an ...

All 10 related articles »


Apple Poaches Microsoft's Datacenter GM

All Things Digital (blog) - John Paczkowski - ‎6 hours ago‎

Timmons left Microsoft this week and the company has confirmed his departure, though it declined to say why he left or where he was headed. But sources in position to know confirm he's hired on with Apple. ...

Now when you run Twitter search for Kevin Timmons you can see the news!/search/kevin%20timmons.  2 days when I searched there was only 3 entries.


I asked for feedback on my blog post from 4 data center friends before publishing, and the comments were.

Cool stuff! of your best ever in my opinion.

Nice! I love it! :)

I like it a lot. It is a VERY real issue facing our industry if you think about it. I know the names of just about every exec at this level and is a surprise when you hear some new name.
I wonder how long it will take for supply of quality DC exec talent will meet/exceed the pace of need. If ever?

This is what gave me the confidence to hit Publish yesterday as there was more of a story to tell than Kevin moving from Microsoft to Apple.


It would have been interesting to see how the news would have spread, but it’s kind of fun being the one who pushes the first domino and watch the rest fall.