Kevin Timmons, who helped build the data centers that power Microsoft’s global cloud computing operation, has left the company and is expected to take a leadership position at Apple, reports “Data Center Knowledge” ( The move “strongly hints that Apple is stepping up its plans for an expansion of its data center infrastructure beyond its huge new facility in North Carolina,” the article adds.

Timmons went to work for Microsoft in mid-2009. He helped oversee the completion of data centers in Northlake, Illinois, and Dublin, Ireland. He then moved to streamline the company’s data center design and cost structure.

Apple doesn’t talk about its data centers. But if it is looking for an executive to “think different” about data centers, Apple may have found its man in Timmons, says “Data Center Knowledge.”

“Challenge everything you know about a traditional data center,” Timmons said in a March 2010 presentation at DataCenterDynamics New York. “From the walls to the roof to where it needs to be built, challenge everything.”

(Photo courtesy of “Data Center Knowledge”)