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By Nick Wakeman

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Townes-Whitley briefly CGI Federal president before taking Microsoft post

Before Toni Townes-Whitley accepted the job as vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector, she accepted another job – president of CGI Federal.

She had been senior vice president and chief operating officer of CGI’s civilian business, but according to an internal memo she was promoted to president of CGI Federal, effective Jan. 2.

Townes-Whitley was to replace Dr. James Peake, who was to move to a new role focused on government and health markets across the U.S. and global businesses of CGI, according to a memo written by George Schindler, president of CGI’s U.S. business, which includes federal, state and local and commercial operations.

The internal memo was sent out to CGI’s U.S. employees on Dec. 18.

In promoting Townes-Whitely, Schindler praised her years of service and her skill in leading year-over-year growth of the businesses she managed. He also cited her community and industry involvement in groups such as the Industry Advisory Council, the Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector, and the Partnership Shared Services Roundtable. She also is a board member of the United Way for the National Capital Area.

CGI’s website apparently was never updated with Townes-Whitley’s promotion and a public announcement was never made, but Townes-Whitley did update her LinkedIn profile with the CGI promotion.

Apparently, she was offered and accepted the Mircosoft role very quickly after CGI promoted her.

“While Toni Townes-Whitley was named as CGI Federal President, she elected to immediately depart to pursue other interests. Given her extremely short tenure, there was no impact on CGI Federal’s ongoing business or strategy,” said Linda Odorisio, vice president of global communications for CGI.

Once she accepted the Microsoft position, Peake moved back into the leadership role at CGI Federal.

Townes-Whitley could not be reached for comment for this post.

A question remains if CGI is currently looking for a new CGI Federal position because Peake was poised to move into the broader role described by Schindler in the memo.

Odorisio declined to comment on that question, saying that "Peake continues as CGI Federal president."

The move to Microsoft is no small matter for Townes-Whitley. She’ll oversee sales and marketing in the government, education and non-commercial health care markets worldwide. She’s also moving to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., leaving her long-time home in the D.C. area.

The transition from one coast to the other will take several months, she said in an interview with Washington Technology reporter Mark Hoover.

The new role also might say something about Microsoft’s public sector strategy. Given Townes-Whitley’s background in consulting and the delivery of IT services, her hiring might mean that Microsoft is moving upstream in the market, rather than just being a commodity provider of software and cloud services.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Feb 09, 2015 at 9:30 AM

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