Mark Russinovich joined Microsoft the year I left 2006. I had a chance to see Mark in action at a Microsoft conference in 2008 and in 2014 Wired has written a story that highlights Mark's role at Microsoft.
The one thing that stands out about Mark is his focus on the customer.
‘Look at what you’re doing through the eyes of the customer, treat the customer with respect, and assume the customer is smart.’
The company’s decision to refashion Azure as a service where businesses could run practically any software, including Linux, says Russinovich, was a direct response to discussions with longtime Microsoft customers. They wanted a way to move their existing software into the cloud, rather than just building new applications to suit Azure’s very specific architecture. “We needed to give them an on-ramp,” he says, and that’s what he helped design. It’s this kind of simple customer interaction, Russinovich explains, that shows how Microsoft is now aligning with his personal values. “It’s really just following some basics that can get lost in the heat of the drive to grab revenue and maximize profits: look at what you’re doing through the eyes of the customer, treat the customer with respect, and assume the customer is smart,” he says.
“He has real vision,” says HP cloud chief Bill Hilf, who once worked alongside Russinovich at Microsoft. “And he knows how to listen to customers.”
“Without trust, there is no cloud. You’re asking customers to give you their data to manage, and if they don’t trust you, there’s no way they’re going to give it to you. You can screw up trust really easily. You can screw it up just by showing incompetence. But if you show intentional undermining of trust, your business is done.”