“I’m an analyst by nature. And I love nothing more than digging into data—even really messy data. I love when things don’t line up neatly because that’s when the real works starts.”
- Jon Derome
When Jon Derome, General Manager of Microsoft Customer and Market Research, started his career, he was deeply involved in politics. He worked for a congressman on two campaign cycles. He then worked in the Massachusetts State House. When that job ended, after initially thinking of going to law school, he got a job in a city where he had spent time while in college—Prague. While in this job, he came to a realization: He loved research.
He enjoyed studying a topic, building expertise through data, and summarizing what he’d learned. So he set about to start a career in research. After a short search, he joined IDC. He travelled all around Europe interviewing people and collecting data to help Western companies enter and perform in Eastern European markets. He was in his element. After a few years working in Prague and Paris, Jon moved back to the states to work for Yankee Group running a consulting practice focused on business-to-business technology. His work at Yankee Group had him working with some of the largest tech companies in the world.
After about five years, one of those companies, SAP, came calling in search of research and analytics help. Jon jumped at the chance to join SAP to help with the company’s long-term planning—building scenarios and forecasts on where markets were heading and using data to influence engineering resource allocation. His career was going in the right direction, and he thought he was in for the long-haul. Then he heard from a colleague who was at Microsoft.
The opportunity sounded intriguing, so Jon flew out to Seattle. He loved the people and the area and was soon packing up and moving west.
Jon’s first role was as director of Windows consumer market research and that role led to other positions, including director of server and tool research, senior director of cloud market research, senior director of Office market research, and then senior director of consumer lifetime value data science and M365 research.
“I believe in invention because it means we create something that
hasn’t existed before. I want us to invest our energy and resources to invent
new ways to answer business questions.”
- Jon Derome
Jon came into his current position, leading CMR, in October 2019. He immediately set about to build a more open and inclusive team that embraces debate, encourages quiet voices, and gives everyone a chance to speak their mind. He also encourages team members to work across organizational lines to ensure the best results. Above all, he strives to never let the past dictate how CMR does things today or tomorrow. For Jon, the opportunity to lead such a smart, dedicated team of research experts is the privilege of his career.