Microsoft Looks For Don Dodge Replacement

When Microsoft laid off Microsoft’s Director of Business Development Don Dodge last month we called it a huge mistake. He was Microsoft’s “ambassador” to startups and largely responsible for the success of the Bizspark program (the Bizspark program gives Microsoft products for free to startups, and also funds a number of tech blogs through sponsored posts).

Eleven days after Dodge was let go he was a Google employee.

Now Microsoft is looking for his replacement, it seems. From a job listing (we’re trying to confirm with Microsoft now that it’s authentic):

DEVELOPER EVANGELIST(707969 -External) Permanent

Overall Scope/Impact Startup partners are a critical element in Microsoft’s overall strategy in delivering Microsoft based software solutions to customers and growing platform share and revenue especially in the fastest growing underpenetrated Startup market segment. As related to evangelism, Startup partners needs extend beyond just creating best of breed services and solutions. Customers are demanding an overall approach that embraces creative design, development, delivery and maintenance. The Startup Developer Evangelist needs to understand the Startup partner business dynamics and be keen on how Microsoft can help increase platform share and increase the utilization of Microsoft tools and technologies while improving Startup partner satisfaction with Microsoft. This is an opportunity to innovate by engagement, grow the Startup partner base and directly impact Startup partner satisfaction, platform and tools adoption for Microsoft. Qualifications: To qualify for this position, you must be prepared to demonstrate a passion for technology and previous experience in showing developers ?how to?. You should also possess a current technical background in both Microsoft and competitive platform and tools technologies (eg Windows 7, Azure, Silverlight, IE8, WPF, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008, Sharepoint 2010, ASP.NET and JAVA, Flex/AIR, LAMP, MySQL, PHP). You should also have an extremely good grasp of the Startup partner business practices, exceptional skills creating
Location: Boston, MA Reference: JS707969 Company: Microsoft Corporation Contact: Microsoft Corporation Posted Date: 12/7/2009 2:32:15 AM

This is very nearly an exact description of Dodge’s job, although it may be a more junior role. The job is also based in Boston – Don was based there, too. Did Microsoft let Dodge go to hire someone younger and cheaper? Seems like a penny wise and pound foolish decision to me. Startups loved Dodge.