David Hemler leaves Microsoft Canada post

Less than a year after he took the helm of Microsoft Canada, David Hemler said Friday he was leaving his job and the country to be by his ailing father-in-law’s side.

Hemler — who took over from Frank Clegg after Clegg embarked on an extended sabbatical with his own family – said his role at Microsoft Canada will end next month. He said he will remain with the firm in the United States in “another leadership capacity,” though he did not elaborate. He will be replaced by Phil Sorgen, who has been leading the software giant’s enterprise operations function south of the border for several years. 

In a letter he sent to CDN, Hemler said his decision was driven by a major stroke his father-in-law suffered earlier this year.

“When I accepted the position, my plan was to move my family here once the school year finished,” Hemler said. “Luckily my wife was able to be with her dad at the hospital and to support her family during his recovery. But this meant keeping her and our three children in Minnesota. His recovery continues and we decided it is best for our family to be together under the circumstances.”

In his short time in Canada, Hemler found himself guiding the Canadian team through several major milestones, including the 20th anniversary of Windows. His first major public appearance took place in April, when he joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Toronto Police Service to unveil the Child Exploitation and Tracking System (CETS), a database which was designed to assist police in tracking Internet predators and rescuing children. He later oversaw the Canadian launch of key Microsoft products, including SQL Server 2005 and Dynamics GP and CRM 3.0. 

Hemler praised his successor, noting Sorgen’s success in launching the local Microsoft Certified Solution Partner Program when he was working in the firm’s sourth central district, and the growth he achieved as general manager of the Gulf Coast District. “He is also a member of the U.S. leadership team, which drives the overall sales, enterprise partner, inside sales, commercial licensing, and industry organizations,” he said.

The decision to leave Microsoft Canada was difficult, Hemler admitted. “This is without a doubt the best job I’ve ever had and one that I had worked towards for several years,” he said.

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