Microsoft UK creates first chief data officer worldwide

Robin Sutara2Microsoft UK has appointed the company’s first ever chief data officer in the world as part of tech giant’s own digital transformation strategy as well as its drive to help brands succeed with artificial intelligence and data.

Robin Sutara has already taken up the role, having been with the company over 21 years, most recently working for cloud service Microsoft Azure in the US.

A self-confessed Iron Man fanatic, Sutara started her career in the US Army, and spent over four years working Apache Helicopter electrical, electronic and armament systems.

A spell at Tandy Services followed until Sutara joined Microsoft in 1991 as a senior technical account manager, before moving up to director of business management. Her most recent role was as chief of staff, where she was responsible for all the operations and business management functions for Azure.

In her new role, Sutara will work with Microsoft’s UK customer base – which spans retail, banking and healthcare – to implement new data and artificial intelligence solutions and technologies.

Sutara said: “Our mission is to empower every person on the planet to achieve more, and that empowerment is only possible with an understanding of data within an organisation.

“Microsoft has been on its own digital transformation journey for several years and data has been central to that journey. Microsoft UK has demonstrated their commitment to being data-focused by creating the CDO role.

“Data is the most strategic asset of any organisation. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that no business is immune to sudden changes, but organisations that have an established data culture and capabilities are more agile and can pivot to better serve their customers.

“As the world continues its recovery from the pandemic, data is going to be critically important for organisations. It will help them understand their customers and employees, and allow them to think about the opportunities that sharing data can bring. They can start to think of data as a strategic asset for their own organisation and the value they can bring to their suppliers, customers and employees.”

Sutara’s appointment comes six months after the UK division promoted chief operating officer Clare Barclay to be its new CEO, responsible for all of Microsoft’s product and service offerings in the UK for commercial customers and partners.

The company operates its business in five segments: Windows & Windows Live, covering the Windows operating system; Server & Tools, including Azure and SQL, as well as data and business intelligence operations; Online Services, featuring Bing, MSN, adCenter, and advertiser tools; Microsoft Business, including Office, Exchange, and SharePoint; and, finally, Entertainment & Devices, covering Xbox 360 and Kinect.

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