Tom Keane attended Prince Alfred College from 1989 to 1996, following in the footsteps of cousins and family members across multiple generations. Tom was active in sport, in particular rowing and football, and in the performing arts. Tom’s contributions were recognised with Arts Colours in 1995 and 1996, as a result of his work in leading the Tech crew of his time. On Tom’s school file is a letter from the Headmaster, Dr Webber, to Tom, expressing appreciation, following a major event, for Tom’s work in this area, and I quote:
…Thank you for your help, not only on this night, but also for the myriad other nights that you have worked in the Hall on lighting and sound…
While at Princes, Tom’s interest in technology began. Shortly after a Microsoft Windows 3.1 arrived at his house, on five, 3.5-inch floppy disks, Tom began to experiment. He learned to build applications on this operating system, which made it easier for friends and family to use computers.
This experience fuelled his interest in computer science, leading him to study for a degree in that discipline at the University of South Australia. Upon completion, Tom embarked on a career in Australia, building software for companies on top of Microsoft technology. Tom’s career then led him to the United Kingdom, where he joined Microsoft Corporation, and, following several years in London, Tom moved to the United States, to continue building technologies for the company that he had loved as a child.
Today, Tom builds technologies that play a leading role in some of the planet’s most complex, mission-critical, full-spectrum challenges, no matter where in the world they may exist. On any given day, those challenges might range from ensuring the security of data for national security agencies, to facilitating the faster movement of financial data across global markets.
Tom serves as the Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Azure, as one of Microsoft’s top executives for Cloud Computing. In this role, he leads a rapidly growing organisation of several thousand engineers located across 25 countries worldwide. Tom and his team contribute to building and operating Microsoft’s global collection of datacenters, computers, network fiber and gigawatts of energy to create the Microsoft Cloud.
Tom was a founding member of Microsoft’s Office 365 engineering team, and he developed the service to deliver to over 110 million end users. Tom also led the engineering effort to build Microsoft’s cloud computing infrastructure for China, and the expansion of Microsoft Azure’s Cloud into 35 countries covering 85% of global GDP. Tom plays an influential role as a Corporate Vice President within Microsoft, advising Microsoft’s senior leadership team, including CEO Satya Nadella, and presenting to Microsoft’s board of directors.
Tom has led organisations of thousands of engineers, product managers, data scientists and industry experts. For example, he was responsible for leading Microsoft’s “Vanguard” initiative, a company-wide initiative spanning more than 500 Microsoft teams and more than 15,000 engineers. In 2021, Tom was named Cloud Industry Executive of the Year by WashingtonExec magazine.
Tom is passionate about the stated vision for the organisation he runs: ‘To create the technologies and platforms that create the businesses that change the world’. Tom is responsible for Microsoft’s space products and programs, which has included delivering Microsoft software to the international space station. Earlier this month Tom announced a new project with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), whereby Tom and his team are exploring how NASA can use artificial intelligence to ensure the safety of astronauts’ equipment. If successful, the technology could help NASA explore farther reaches of space and land humans on Mars. Tom is the inventor of fifteen patents related to networking, systems management, data management, user interfaces, monitoring and distributed systems.
Although Tom's work spans the globe, he remains deeply passionate about supporting the relationship between Australia and the United States, and he participates in the Australian American Leadership Dialogue. This is a private diplomatic initiative, which brings together Australian and American leaders from government, enterprise, media, education, and the community, to help review and refine the parameters of the Australian-American bilateral relationship.
Today, Tom lives in Seattle with his wife and two children. Amongst other personal passions, he actively works to advance medical research and provide support systems to help those impacted by cancer.