Well respected Great Plains (subsequently Microsoft) veteran Jodi Uecker-Rust has just been announced as the Interim Leader of the Sage North America Business Management Division. This spot was left vacant when Nina Smith departed Sage December 9, 2008.
Jodi is what could be termed a “heavy hitter” in the world of accounting software. She spent her career working first for Great Plains Software and ultimately Microsoft (who acquired Great Plains). For a period of time she was very widely considered to be the # 2 in command behind former Great Plains leader Doug Burgum. Jodi retired early from Microsoft in 2004 to devote time to some non-profit organizations that she was involved in.
Why the “Interim” leader label?
One thing I spotted right away is the label “Interim” in Jodi’s title. This seems to indicate that Jodi’s final position may not be leading the Business Management Division but could in fact be a far bigger position?
There’s no question Jodi has the experience to lead the Sage North America BMD, so the title of Interim seems to indicate that further reorganization might be in the cards.
Also the wording of press release indicates that Jodi “join(s) us in order to continue our transformation in Sage North America”.
If I were forced to make a guess I’d say that the different divisions at Sage may ultimately consolidate in some form. Perhaps Jodi’s task is to eventually lead them. She has enough experience in this area that her expertise and organizational opinion may have been wanted before any potential re-organization happens.
The structure of Sage changed to much more of a divisional setup immediately following the management shakeup in 2007 that saw CEO Ron Verni, CFO Jim Eckstaedt depart.
Another option could be an upcoming round of acquisitions with Jodi ultimately leading a new division or acquired company.
And finally, there could be absolutely nothing to the title.
In any event, welcome to Sage North America Jodi!