Microsoft Israel names McKinsey alumnus General Manager of R&D

24 January 2018 2 min. read

Microsoft Israel has named the 34-year-old former McKinsey consultant Assaf Rappaport as new General Manager of its research and development operations in the country. Rappaport will guide a team of 1,000 employees and replaces long-term former boss Yoram Yaacovi.

Rappaport’s rapid rise to GM of Microsoft Israel’s R&D arm comes after just two-and-a-half years with the software pioneers, joining in 2015 upon the company’s $320 million acquisition of Adallom, a cloud-focused cybersecurity start-up which Rappaport had co-founded in 2012.

Immediately prior to establishing Adallom (which was rebranded Microsoft Cloud App Security subsequent to its purchase) Rappaport had held a consulting role for two years with strategy giants McKinsey & Company, providing project management services for the firm’s Australian and Israeli branches across various industries, including the telco and finance sectors.Assaf RappaportRappaport joined McKinsey – which, according to its website, has been operating in Israel for over 15 years and counts 16 of country’s largest companies among its clients – after a period with the Talpiot program, an elite Israeli Defence Force training initiative for recruits with an exceptional aptitude in the sciences and for leadership, and completed his Masters in Computer Science while with the consulting firm – during which time he won software research awards from both Intel and Cisco.

Since his recruitment to Microsoft Israel, Rappaport has most recently been head of their growing Cloud Security unit, a role which he will continue to perform in addition to his appointment to head of the company’s local research and development centres – located currently in Herzliya, Nazareth, and Haifa, with the latter established in 1991 as Microsoft’s first research post outside of the US.

Rappaport will replace departed former R&D head Yoram Yaacovi, who has stepped down after having started with the company 25 years ago in 1993. The incoming boss said; "Microsoft has been undergoing a real revolution in the past few years. This is a company that with a culture of excellence, daring and innovation. Microsoft empowers its people, grows with them, and challenges them to achieve more. I am proud to lead this revolution in Israel.”

The purchase of Adallom by Microsoft in 2015 contributed to a bumper year for Israel’s tech start-ups – the local sector being described by McKinsey as the number one globally per capita – with the tech M&A market, according to a recent report from Big Four accounting and advisory firm PwC, just picking up again after a flat 2016.