Rackspace (RAX), the cloud services provider (CSP) and OpenStack proponent, has just hired a former Microsoft (MSFT) sales guru Todd Cione to lead the company's Americas Acquisition Sales division.

Cione will be in charge of accelerating market share gains and acquisition of new customers in the Americas through both direct and channel sales, promoting Rackspace's hybrid cloud solutions.

Before signing on with Rackspace, Cione spent his last 15 years at Microsoft. He was most recently based in Singapore and responsible for $4 billion in annual revenue for software, cloud services and enterprise services.

Rackspace CCO Taylor Rhodes suggested in his prepared remarks that the hire was motivated by Rackspace's continued hybrid cloud initiatives. "I believe that Todd’s breadth and depth of experience in our industry, matched with his demonstrated success in building winning sales teams, will accelerate our leadership in the hybrid cloud market," he said.

"Rackspace understands that hybrid architectures are the future of cloud computing and I believe the company’s vision will be the driving force behind innovation as this market evolves," Cione said in a prepared statement.

Rackspace recently hired a new vice president of private cloud in late April 2013, tapping John Igoe, former executive director of cloud and Big Data solutions in Dell's (DELL) Datacenter Solutions group. Igoe has been leading business development, partner alliances and technology initiatives for bringing Openstack solutions to market.