Tom Keane

Microsoft Technology Executive

Tom Keane has worked as an executive in the global technology sector for decades. His experience leading business units and engineering teams is notable, and he has worked with several large corporations to help them grow and expand what they can offer in the technology sphere. Keane’s most recent role was at Microsoft, where he was Corporate Vice-President of Azure. During his tenure there, he helped teams solve many of the company’s challenging issues and was involved in high-profile changes.
Profound and significant expertise in cybersecurity, cloud computing issues, and the development of new products allowed Tom Keane to be prepared for every challenge that came his way. Now he leaves Microsoft to work on The World’s Computer, which involves further development of technology he has already been working with during his time with the company. He will continue to expand his knowledge and the value that new technology brings to society.

While working at the technology giant, Tom Keane was an advisor to much of Microsoft’s senior leadership team and presented findings and information to the board of directors there. Additionally, Keane had a strong and proven track record of creating new products that generated additional company growth and customer value. His reputation is focused on innovation and strategic thinking, and his development of solid teams indicated his commitment to helping Microsoft continue to succeed.

Tom Keane has lived and worked in Australia, the UK, and the US. He has a good understanding of the technology markets on a worldwide scale, which helps to fuel what Microsoft will continue to offer and what Keane will begin to offer in his new role away from the company. Through working with national governments and commercial enterprises, Keane has driven both customer satisfaction and the growth of technology business around the world.

Tom Keane is the 2021 WashingtonExec Pinnacle Award winner, and embodies a generous spirit of development and creativity focused on cloud capabilities around the world. Using Microsoft Azure, customers can look at hosting complex and regulated workloads without ever having to leave the cloud. Azure has a strong focus on additional cloud development, and Keane’s influence there will help to foster the expansion of that computing platform.

Before Tom Keane left Microsoft to pursue other opportunities, he was responsible for areas such as space, 5G, and analytics. His passion for digital sovereignty was notable, and he worked with numerous organizations to help them find the right ways to minimize security risks. He was a leader for data scientists, engineers, and product managers at large global organizations throughout the world, along with the “Vanguard” initiative at Microsoft.

Tom Keane’s guidance helped teams at the company solve challenges and explore opportunities. Careful attention to detail was needed from the very beginning, as Keane and Microsoft were making big moves in highly visible environments. Now that Keane has left Microsoft, his work in computers and technology will continue to shape the world, and other companies and user experiences, for the foreseeable future.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I am an early riser and like to begin the day working out. I am more productive in the morning, so I try and tackle email, messages, and texts in the morning to get ahead of the day. Because I work with people in many countries and many time zones, “it is always 9 am somewhere,” so I set goals for the day but adjust if pressing issues from around the globe come up.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am a big believer in product-led growth. I get energy from partnering with customers to build technology to solve their hardest problems and enjoy the cycle of iterating, improving, and perfecting software solutions.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Autonomy. With abundant compute, storage, and networking resources through cloud computing, increasingly available connectivity options through 5G and LEO-based space constellations, intelligent edge devices are becoming increasingly commonplace, and coupled with advances in AI, the possibilities of autonomy are just beginning, and I am excited about autonomous edge applications.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Humility. Listening to customers and profoundly understanding their most challenging problems creates fantastic products.

What advice would you give your younger self?


Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

That anything is possible – no matter how difficult – through hard work.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Deeply understand the industry, sector, or business you are engaging with. No detail is too small.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Product Led Growth. I get energy from partnering with customers to build technology to solve their most complex problems and enjoy the cycle of iterating, improving, and perfecting software solutions.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Platform vs. Product. A platform is a technology that allows the value of those who build upon it to exceed the value of the platform itself. Ignoring this rule can result in a successful product that misses the far more significant platform opportunity.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Google productivity suite. I really love how Google does contact management – they have nailed an area that so many others have failed at.

Calendy. I love the simplicity and ease of use, and it makes booking time with others dead simple.

OneDrive. I sync over 50,000 files across many devices with varying connectivity. Been using it since it was Windows Live Mesh.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Great Convergence, Information Technology, and the New Globalization, by Richard Baldwin. To shape the future, you must understand the past. For people building global products or companies, this book provides

What is your favorite quote?

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill (November 10, 1942)

Key Learnings:

  • “How” you operate is just as important as “What” you achieve.
  • Approach every situation with humility. By listening more than you speak, you can deeply understand others’ perspectives.
  • Bring a Growth Mindset to all you do. The willingness to be constantly learning, and challenging traditions. The learn-it-all does better than the know-it-all.