Somasegar Is Latest Outgoing Microsoft Exec to Join Madrona

Madrona Venture Group has welcomed another long-tenured Microsoft executive to its ranks, naming S. “Soma” Somasegar, who last month left the software giant after 27 years, as its newest venture partner.

Madrona has been a way station for other top Microsoft leaders after exiting the Redmond, WA, company. Kurt Delbene spent 21 years at Microsoft and seven months working on the Affordable Care Act website before a relatively brief stint as a Madrona venture partner beginning in September 2014. He returned to Microsoft last spring as head of corporate strategy and planning.

Ted Kummert began at Microsoft in 1989 and became a venture partner at Madrona upon leaving in early 2013. He spent 10 months with the venture firm before joining one of its portfolio companies, Apptio, leading engineering and cloud operations.

Soma’s last role at Microsoft was corporate vice president of the division responsible for developer tools and services. Like previous Microsoft execs, he brings enterprise experience that can be useful to Madrona portfolio companies selling to, partnering with, or competing against large businesses. His specific expertise in software development adds to Madrona’s depth in DevOps, the movement in IT toward a more streamlined, collaborative software development workflow that extends to deployment and operations.

“Over the last five years we have witnessed a massive shift in how much power developers have over which products and technologies are adopted into enterprise IT,” said Madrona managing director Tim Porter in a statement. “This shift to DevOps and the migration of IT spend from central IT into business groups has now been further accelerated by the move to microservices that make it easier to build, deploy, and scale enterprise applications. Together these trends are driving massive change. Soma’s deep understanding of the needs of developers and, more broadly, of enterprise software development and adoption, will be especially relevant to Madrona’s investment strategy and portfolio companies.”

As venture partner, Soma’s role is not only to advise existing Madrona entrepreneurs and companies, but to source new investments.

Soma does not come to Madrona as an investing novice. He has made early stage investments in consumer and enterprise technology companies at home and abroad, according to a Madrona news release.

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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