Microsoft promotes new federal leader

A Microsoft office building in Bellevue, Washington.

A Microsoft office building in Bellevue, Washington. SOPA Images via Getty Images.

The global tech giant also elevates a new leader for the business unit focused on civilian agencies.

Microsoft has promoted a new leader for its federal government business in Candice Ling, a two-decade technology sector veteran who formerly led the unit focused on civilian agencies.

Ling announced the move in a LinkedIn post Tuesday, which added that 13-year Microsoft veteran Heidi Kobylski has been named leader of the global tech giant's civilian operating unit.

"In this new era of government, I want to champion a public-private centered strategy, fostering co-innovation and accelerating time-to-mission. We are also dedicated to and laser-focused on accelerating AI adoption in support of your mission," Ling wrote.

That transition in leadership takes place in the wake of Rick Wagner's departure last week from Microsoft, where he led the federal unit as president for the past three years.

In addition to Ling's new role, Microsoft also appointed Roger Heinz to lead Microsoft’s communication sales and delivery team within the larger strategic missions and technologies organization that includes public sector.

Microsoft executive Mitra Azizirad detailed Heinz's new role in a LinkedIn post, in which she announced her new position as president and chief operating officer for growth innovation and strategy within that strategic missions and technologies organization.

Ling's five years at Microsoft include the past two as vice president of the civilian unit and a one-year stint as chief operating officer for the regulated industries business. Prior to Microsoft, she spent 19 years at CGI that included two as a senior vice president.

Microsoft is also embarking on a newfound push in artificial intelligence that includes a new service unveiled in June for federal agencies to access generative AI capabilities via the company's Azure Government cloud environment.

In the fall of 2021, Microsoft folded its federal team into the company's Azure cloud segment as part of a larger reorganization of its public sector business.

Microsoft is one of four companies on the Defense Department's Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract and one of five on the intelligence community's Commercial Cloud Enterprise vehicle also known as C2E, both of which are for general purpose enterprise cloud hosting.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to include additional information on the new roles for Microsoft executives Roger Heinz and Mitra Azizirad)