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Global Category Management Leader


Location: Redmond, Washington

Job Type: Full time

Last updated

Be brave, not perfect.
- Reshma Saujani

At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We plan to achieve this mission by building best-in-class Supply Chain and Procurement practices for a cloud enabled world. The Cloud Operations + Innovation (CO+I) business is critical to delivering on this mission and vision, building and operating Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, which is growing rapidly in response to unprecedented demand for Microsoft services. CO+I operates one of the largest cloud networks on the planet – comprised of more than 160 Datacenters, 130+ edge sites, 2+ million miles of fiber, and millions of servers and network and storage devices.

The CO+I, Datacenter business is looking to fill the critical role of Director – Category Management. The CO+I Supply Chain organization is responsible for delivering Datacenter Procurement for Microsoft’s cloud business. We have a portfolio of complex, multi-disciplinary, multi-million, multi-year Datacenter construction and lease projects. As a member of the Supply Chain Leadership team, you will be responsible for the Category Management Strategy for Microsoft Datacenters globally. The role involves direct engagement with our partners across our Datacenter organization as well as our internal teams within boarder Microsoft.


The Global Category Management Director will lead a global team of Category Managers who will own a multi-billion dollar global spend in the Cloud Operations + Innovation team. As the director you will establish relationships by building trust with internal & external stakeholders and develop/execute strategies which meet business outcomes. You will lead, and have responsibility over, all negotiations and sourcing initiatives for various aspects of the infrastructure equipment. Partnering with the Quality and the Regional procurement teams to ensure supplier selection is aligned to operational needs.

  • Leadership:
    • Provide clear direction to the team on core priorities, strategic initiatives & process changes
    • Drive executive conversations around demand and supply globally for all products
    • Lead the team to provide consistent communication of Demand Plans, Supply Plans, Risks and Opportunities and KPI performance tracking to stakeholder groups
    • Lead and coach regional leads to continuously improve demand and supply processes. Document and define end-to-end process improvement across functions, systems and stakeholders
    • Challenge the status quo via a growth mindset – strive for continuous improvement and customer-centrism in all aspects of decision making
  • Supply Chain and Procurement Expertise:
    • Conduct effective negotiations
    • maintain databases and KPI’s to measure cost performance over time.
    • Risk profile - ensure Purchasing and Contracts teams are developing a supply base that identifies Business Continuity & Performance risks and develops appropriate mitigation actions
    • Evaluate market trends and advise DISC and Project Controls of impending/potential impacts to project costs.
    • Continuously review business processes and implement opportunities to Automate and Lean the delivery, increasing efficiency and throughput


The successful candidate must be a self-starter with proven skills in driving key initiatives with results through engagement with internal partners, have a solid acumen for demand and supply management, inventory management, collaborative planning and forecasting (CPFR), and business/performance management (understanding performance and supply flow in the context of financial and inventory targets). The candidate will be a problem solver and be resourceful, creative and willing to work with and through others to be successful. Strong people management (including managing managers) and collaboration are critical skills in this role. Strong verbal and written communication skills and analytical thinking are necessary for driving a high level of impact.

Required Qualifications:

  • 7+ years of experience in the Supply Chain, Operations or commercial organization
  • 5+ years of experience in people leadership and leading diverse remote teams

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in STEM, Supply Chain Management or related business discipline is required. An MBA or a Master’s in Supply Chain Management is highly preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully manage large scale change and influence in a matrixed organization
  • Experienced people managemer, leading global high performing teams including managers
  • Demonstrated strategic thinking and leadership with strong relationship management ability
  • Prior experience in managing by influence across multiple teams/groups across an organization
  • Proven track record for identifying risks and implementing mitigations successfully
  • Excellent understanding of an end to end Supply Chain and the value / cost drivers that Supply Chain Management and Strategy can drive
  • Clear and effective communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Data-oriented, analytical and detail oriented, capable of using models for optimization purposes yet balanced with an ability to be able to step back from the data to draw out the right business approach for conclusion.
  • Project management/process improvement skills, effectively evaluates information/data to make decisions; anticipates obstacles and develops plans to resolve issues; creates actionable strategies and operational plans
  • Demonstrated customer focus – evaluates decisions through the eyes of the customer and develops processes to deliver outcomes that meet corporate, operations and sourcing goals
  • Change oriented, actively generates process improvements; champions and drives change initiatives; confronts difficult circumstances in creative ways, balances multiple and competing priorities and executes accordingly
  • Undaunted by challenges with a drive for execution delivering excellent results under tight, pressure filled timelines

Ability to meet Microsoft, customer and/or government security screening requirements are required for this role. These requirements include but are not limited to the following specialized security screenings: Microsoft Cloud Background Check: This position will be required to pass the Microsoft Cloud Background Check every two years thereafter.

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.