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Cindy Bates

Vice President, US Small and Midsized Business & Distribution Microsoft

As Vice President of Microsoft’s US Small and Midsized Business & Distribution (SMB&D) group, Cindy Bates leads the team whose mission is to help the millions of Small and Medium Sized Businesses in the US to start, grow and thrive by leveraging today’s powerful and affordable technologies.

Cindy has a wealth of experience leading high performance teams, and she brings expertise in sales, marketing, strategy and corporate development. She has been with Microsoft for 15 years, originally joining the company as a managing director of Corporate Development and Strategy, where she was responsible for strategic evaluation, deal structure and negotiations of the Microsoft’s mergers, acquisitions, investments and joint ventures. She focused on the SMB applications market, where she led the strategically vital acquisition of Navision for what is now the Microsoft Dynamics group.

From there, she was appointed Vice President of US Partner Strategy, Marketing and Programs, driving broad engagement with Microsoft’s entire US partner ecosystem, including driving the partner launches of Windows 7, Office 2010. Cindy’s leadership has been integral to helping Microsoft and its channel partners capitalize on the significant business opportunity in the SMB market. Cindy built Microsoft’s US Small Business Group from the ground up, leading the team responsible for online and offline marketing, customer relationship management, business development, and small business partner engagement.

Widely quoted in SMB and channel press, she is also a contributing columnist to Entrepreneur.com, American City Business Journals and authors a blog on Microsoft Business Hub, where she offers technology and business insights and advice to SMBs. Cindy also is active in evangelizing American entrepreneurship and the virtues of cloud technology. She has been awarded for her work with SMBs including being named a Small Business Influencer Champion by SmallBizTrends for three years running and was named to the National Diversity Council's honor roll as a 2014 Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Cindy was Senior Vice President in Merrill Lynch & Co’s. Investment Banking, Retail and E-Commerce Industry Group. She advised major retail clients such as Saks Inc., Tiffany & Co., and Ann Taylor on strategic, financial and e-commerce-related strategies. She also previously worked as a management consultant for Strategic Planning Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based firm providing strategy and marketing advice for Fortune 200 clients.

She holds a B.A. in international economics and a B.S. in molecular biology from the University of Michigan, as well as an MBA from Harvard University. She is active in Seattle based non-profits, currently serving as a board member of 501 Commons. In her free time, Cindy enjoys spending time with her extended family, traveling, playing tennis and squash, and exploring new restaurants. A personal highlight was completing the New York City Marathon with her mother.

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