Tom Keane, a Microsoft technology leader who has played a key role in these technologies for more than 20 years, said Monday that he is leaving the Microsoft cloud team in order to further fuel his passion for the advancement of computing technology. The executive at Microsoft had been in charge of a staff of 600 engineers spread out over 15 nations, as well as numerous new products for the entire company.
Tom Keane’s role in creating and developing Azure for Microsoft is certainly one of his premier achievements. Azure is a hybrid cloud service, developing superior security, functionality, and developer productivity.
In his role as a core leader at Azure, Keane oversaw the global team that developed The World’s Computer, which brought together a number of technologies, including artificial intelligence, the cloud, the internet of things, and more, to usher in a new era of technology and transform society, much like the World Wide Web did in 1991. Keane, who is renowned for his methodical and results-oriented approach to business, has a reputation for encouraging innovation at Microsoft via teamwork. “Working at a corporation with 190,000 workers, it’s practically impossible to be the smartest person in the room, he claims. To this moment, I am very rarely the smartest person in the room.”
During his 21-year tenure, Keane developed a number of fresh company ventures from within Azure. Every day, he said, “My group is focused on delivering optimal solutions so that every client, in every industry, and in every nation, can embrace Azure to further their particular goals.”
Keane oversaw several projects while at Azure, including:
- Africa’s and China’s first hyperscale clouds
- The addition of Azure Space
- In 2014, the addition of Azure Government Cloud.
- The addition of industry-level cloud solutions to support financial services
- Establishing the Microsoft Vanguard program, which directed 15,000 engineers to address some of Microsoft’s most challenging problems, including GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
- In 2017, the creation of Azure’s energy cloud business for Oil & Gas, Mining, and Power & Utilities customers.
Given his achievements, it’s no surprise that Keane was recognized in 2021 by Microsoft as a Top 50 Executive and a Cloud Industry Executive by WashingtonExec, following Microsoft’s cloud computing sales rise of an amazing 50% in Q1 of 2022.
Looking back on the long road he has traveled, Tom Keane reflected on his time at Microsoft:
“I’ve had the good fortune to be on the front lines of cloud computing with Office 365 and, later, Azure for the past 20 years,” he said. ” I was a team leader for Office 365, growing the service from 0 to over 100 million end users. This was Microsoft’s first commercial cloud service. It was an amazing experience to build a new product using a new technology paradigm and a new business approach.”
Tom Keane also led the group that constructed “The World’s Computer” with Azure. Said Keane, ” I’ve had the good fortune to construct hyperscale infrastructure over the past ten years in more than 30 nations, supporting data residency and high availability for 85% of global GDP.” It’s all true. The world of computing has transformed as a result of Keane’s efforts in building a worldwide product in a quickly changing legal and cyber sovereignty environment.
Continuing, Keane said, “My ability to build and disrupt is what fuels me. My career has focused on entrepreneurship, growth, and ongoing learning for the past 20 years. The digital disruption made possible by ubiquitous computing and hyperscale clouds is just getting started. This digital disruption makes it possible to create a new class of workloads and scenarios.”
At this point, Keane announced his departure from Microsoft. “I’m thrilled to announce today that I’m leaving Microsoft and moving forward with my career to develop the computer of the world. I am equally proud of the last 21 years and eager to start my next adventure.”
Tom Keane’s career at Microsoft has produced a wealth of innovation, including his work as a founding member of the Office 365 team, which he helped grow to 80,000 customers and 110 million end users in a matter of years; his work in cyber sovereignty, including privacy, compliance, and data residency; which has been used by European governments, U.S. defense organizations, and intelligence operations; and, most significantly, the advancements his team has made within the field of artificial intelligence.
As corporate VP, he oversaw Azure’s expansion into 35 new nations and led the charge in opening up the cloud to China, Africa, and a host of other developing nations. In order to integrate cloud computing with satellites in orbit for commercial and governmental applications, additional technology was needed, which Keane developed. “The job my team and I have completed for the American government over the past couple of years is something I’m especially proud of. We introduced and received accreditation for Azure Government Secret and Azure Government Top Secret cloud regions in January 2020,” said Keane.
Upon leaving behind his legacy of achievements at Microsoft, Tom Keane will be concentrating on advancing the technology he played such a significant role in creating during his time there. Keane has consistently stressed the enormous potential of The World’s Computer to address complex issues and broaden accessibility, saying, “I feel very lucky that I get to engage in and help develop technologies that can be leveraged to profoundly improve our world.”