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Leaving Microsoft after 19 years and the most amazing thing about this company.

By Mustapha's Blog , posted on 28-09-2016
Leaving Microsoft after 19 years and the most amazing thing about this company.

Tomorrow is formally my last day working for Microsoft Corporation so I can dedicate my time and energy for In respect of a great company that I worked for more than 19 years, I am proud to share part of my last email to my colleagues.

"Hello All;

I have decided to leave Microsoft to focus on a software startup company that I started few months back.

When people ask me what is the most amazing thing about Microsoft that kept you all those years, I tell them it is in an HR code that few people, even in Microsoft, might know or remember. The code is “Attract, Develop, Keep”. The most amazing thing about this company is its PEOPLE where Microsoft continues to do a great job in attracting, developing, and keeping great people.

Mustapha Ramadan with Bill Gates
Mustapha Ramadan with Bill Gates

I walked into this company 19 years ago with no skills, but a great passion for technology. I couldn’t have imagined where Microsoft would take me. Providing me generous training and career opportunities to develop locally and overseas across four continents, including sponsoring my MBA. Giving me the space to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes, which was priceless to learn and develop.

Mustapha Ramadan at Microsoft
Mustapha Ramadan at Microsoft

So from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU so much: my team, my colleges and partners in Middle East & Africa, Saudi, Gulf, US Gulf Coast District, Corp and all the PEOPLE of Microsoft who taught me and helped me fulfill so many of my dreams. It is really hard to leave such a great company and great people, but it is a passion for entrepreneurship that I need to fulfill.

My startup inherits most of its values, people philosophy, and vision for a better world from what I learned from many of you over the years in Microsoft. is trying to address a challenging market where 99% of small and micro-businesses in the middle east are not web-enabled, don’t have a business email or a website, have limited access to automation and technology. Small businesses want to make use of modern technology to reach more customers and achieve accelerated growth. While small businesses are fueling the growth of advanced economies in United States, Europe, and Asia, They represent a small percentage of middle east economies' GDP. Information technology and cloud services represent a unique opportunity for small businesses in the middle east to expand presence, reach more customers, and accelerate their growth using cloud services at a fraction of what it used to cost only 5 years ago.

I have a assembled a great and passionate team that is in the process of building a state of the art marketplace that hopes to address some of those challenges. The marketplace will help small businesses build online stores, advertise about their products, share their news and deals and ultimately host their online websites and ecommerce stores on with a cluster of other services for free or at a fraction of the cost using a simple and intuitive applications hosted on

We have just launched the marketplace first version, exclusive for now to UAE residents. We have received very positive feedback from literally hundreds of users with recommendations and requests. The web site already has thousands of users registered and jumped in popularity in United Arab Emirates from site 40,000 to site 1,240 most popular website in UAE in less than 25 days. We are looking forward to launch the portal in full production in early October and start reaching out to small businesses to help them with web-enablement. Please feel free to follow this blog to receive regular updates about our progress.

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