Alison Cunard named new MSL General Manager

Eddie Yandle

 Microsoft Corp. has announced that Lutz Ziob has stepped down from his role as General Manager of Microsoft Learning (MSL) after more than a decade of leading the company’s training and certification business and has been succeeded by Alison Cunard, who has been running MSL’s Sales and Marketing organization.

Mr. Ziob said that he plans to take some personal time off before considering his next career step, but is confident  that MSL is well-positioned to continue its efforts to educate, train and certify individuals on the Microsoft platform under Ms. Cunard’s direction.

“This is a time of great change and opportunity in the learning industry,” Mr. Ziob said. “Microsoft is leading the entire technology industry in these efforts and MSL is well-positioned to play a key leadership role in this transition with IT Pros, developers, students and our Learning Partner channel. We’ve seen great business models and training innovations within our existing learning partner community and I believe now more than ever our partners have even greater opportunity to take those forward to drive new skills and certification across key audiences and markets.”

During the course of his 10-plus years at MSL and its predecessor organizations, Mr. Ziob helped redefine the company’s training and certification strategy, expanding the company’s reach in multiple geographies,  extending its Microsoft Press books to digital format and further solidifying the industry’s most recognized and valued technology certification program.   There are now more than 10 million  people certified on a Microsoft technology platform. Recently, MSL updated its entire Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) program to make it “cloud ready” to support Microsoft’s cloud strategy.  The organization also has greatly increased its footprint in the academic area through its Microsoft IT Academy,  which offers academic institutions and their students access to industry-leading technology skills training and certification.  

Ms. Cunard is well-known in the training industry, after having led the Sales and Marketing team for more than two years, working closely with Microsoft’s training partners globally. Ms. Cunard has worked in multiple leadership roles at Microsoft. Prior to joining MSL, she was General Manager in the US Public Sector Services group, based out of Washington, DC.

Since joining MSL, Ms. Cunard  has been instrumental in helping craft a longer-term strategy  for the organization that takes into account the rapidly evolving training industry, while working closely with the organization’s 1,400-plus training partners.

“Changes are happening real-time in the learning industry and I’m excited to take this organization forward  through this industry evolution.  We appreciate and thank Lutz for the many years of tireless advocacy and leadership and I look forward continuing to  drive our learning business through leadership in innovation and strong industry partnerships.” 

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    Enjoy your change Lutz, it was great having a visionary at the helm for the last 10 years. Welcome to Alison!

  • Thomas Lee
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    First, thanks Lutz for your decade of stweardship of MSL. A lot of good stuff happened on your watch and while I've been a critic, I must say thanks for your service.

    Alison - assuming you read this - welcome to the mad house. I hope you get a chance to come visit us here. We're a tough group to please and we wear our hearts on our sleves - but we care. Some of us have been here for a long time - over 20 years in some cases.  You can count on critical feedback!

  • Reed M. Wiedower
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    Congratulations, Alison, on your new role. Looking forward to seeing you at WPC!

  • Mehdi HAMMADI (Regioanal Lead - Algeria)

    Congratulations to Ms Cunard and wish the best for Mr Ziob

  • marty.glenn
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    Lutz, best wishes on your next adventure.  Alison, contrats on the new role!

  • Alison Cunard
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    Thank you for the kind words of welcome. We have some great opportunities ahead of us and we need your input and thoughts to do what is best for our customers and partners.  Keep them coming!

  • joel.brda
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    Good luck, Lutz!