Report: Microsoft post-reorganization leadership revealed


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will reportedly announce a restructuring as early as next week.

Rumors of a Microsoft restructuring have been reported for weeks, though a new report claims the plans are nearly finalized, with division heads who will oversee more tasks expected to be named soon.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will reveal the reorganization as early as next week. Sources told Bloomberg that the new chain of command will solidify Ballmer's vision of Microsoft as a devices and services company, a goal the chief executive has emphasized for more than a year. When the restructuring is complete, Microsoft will consist of divisions that work more broadly across the company's various areas of operation.

Bloomberg claims current Skype President Tony Bates will oversee "acquisitions and relationships with software developers" while also focusing on overall strategy and business development on the software side as well as coordinating with hardware partners. On the hardware front, Julie Larson-Green, who is currently in charge of the Windows division, will reportedly oversee the company's entire range of products, including Xbox consoles and Surface tablets.

Don Mattrick, who was the head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business (the unit that oversees the Xbox team), was reportedly in the running to oversee the company's hardware prior to his recently announced departure for Zynga.

Microsoft's best-known product, Windows, would have a division all to itself that would combine both desktop and mobile Windows development, meaning Windows and Windows Phone would be overseen by the same leadership. Bloomberg claims Terry Myerson, who currently heads the Windows Phone unit, will oversee that combined division. Previous reports indicated Myerson would run the division jointly with Larson-Green, though Mattrick's departure may have changed those plans.

Finally, Satya Nadella, current head of Microsoft's server business, would lead a division that consists of cloud computing and corporate products and services, while Qi Lu, president of Microsoft's Online Services Division, would lead a division for online "applications and services engineering" that would include Skype, Bing and Office. Bloomberg's report didn't clarify whether Lu's proposed division would include all Office products or just the online services, such as Office Web Apps.

In addition to the new divisions, Ballmer's plan would reportedly separate the company's engineering units from its business units, meaning marketing staff would work together regardless of what product or service they're assigned to. Tami Reller, current leader of Windows marketing, would oversee the entire marketing unit. Additionally, financial chiefs for each division would report directly to Amy Hood, Microsoft's chief financial officer, instead of their division heads as they currently do.

Source: Bloomberg | Image via Microsoft

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48 Comments

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I don't know much of these people's track history or abilities so I can only comment on the structure (which I admit is less important) but here goes.

I see positives and negatives to this change

Firstly if we agree that working more collaboratively across the MS portfolio is a good thing then the changes seem to be in line with that.

For example MS finance heads reporting to a single head of finance. This should help provide a more Enterprise rather than BU view of the investments that need to be made.

Of course I hope with these changes they don't get slower in their decision making processes as this will be a real problem for MS.

Also I hope these centralised groups don't loose tocuh/detailed understanding of the groups they used to serve (i.e. engineering moving out of BU's)

The same three points above relate to all the other changes i.e. the bringing of Windows and Windows phone together, a single engineering group rather than BU engineering groups and a single marketing group.

p.s. I hope that MS marketing is FINALLY fixed though I suspect I have more chance of flying to the moon on a scooter

How's the business?
-king of the hill.
-shareholder happy.
-nice year
-fine
-with some ups and downs
-so-so
-with some difficulties
-restructuring. <--- lol MS
-closing some business/office/division.
-reengineering
-selling offices
-selling assets and firing over half of the personal.
-chapter 14
-game over.

So, MS is not doing it so great after all.
And btw, some companies think in the future and they don't care about the current fiscal year but in 3 - 5 years in the future.

The only quandries I have, if this is all true... Where does Visual Studio go? Where do the coding languages go? How do Hardware, and Windows teams work together? How will each division be split up into sub divisions?

My expectations/what makes sense to me...

Windows/OS
> Phone
> Tablet
> Desktop
> Embedded
> Platform Dev (Visual Studio)

Hardware/Devices
> Xbox
> The Garage
> Surface
> Nokia (Phones)
> Accessories

Cloud Services/Corporate
> Office
> Azure
> Server
> Enterprise

Apps/Service Engineering
> Skype
> Bing
> Office 365
> Small Metro App Teams

Marketing/Business/Partnerships
> Yammer
> Evangalism
> VP of Corp Communication
> External PR company

Aquisitons and Dev Relations
> OEM contacts
> Beta feedback triage
> New opportunities
> Forward thinking/planning

Windows and Windows Phone together is SO badly needed. They also need to send a rocket up sales/ marketings ass. Those two things will really help things out

haven't logged on in a long time but heres an idea microsoft. fire ballmer and bring bill back. the company has gone downhill ever since he left.

fixxxer2013 said,
......

Except we all know Bill doesn't WANT to come back. He's happy working on life's larger problems, and Life is better off for it.

I don't see how the "applications and services engineering" division which "include Skype, Bing and Office" could be separate from the other "cloud computing and corporate products and services" division. Is office not a "corporate product?" So by "cloud computing", they only mean the Azure product they offer to customers and not their own services, like Bing, which runs on top of it as well?

"Article said"

allmer's plan would reportedly separate the company's engineering units from its business units, meaning marketing staff would work together regardless of what product or service they're assigned to.

This need serious attention on MS part.

Jose_49 said,

This need serious attention on MS part.

It sounds like the reorg will fix that, now there shouldn't be any miscommunication between divisions and the marketing should be able to better sell all the interoperability that's being added and taken advantage of.

Jose_49 said,

This need serious attention on MS part.

Honestly sounds like classic scaled agile. Only draw division lines between 'functional areas' of business, rather than department silos.

Next week? That'd make sense. The Worldwide Partner Conference kicks-off this Sunday, so the timing's just right.
I'm a bit surprised about Julie's new position. I'm sure she's a great person, but her presenting abilities do need a bit more work. She's improved a bit since last //build/.
Bring on the reorg.

Sszecret said,
......

This is the one thing that bugs me about MS. Their public speaking training.
Everyone who is weak comes off looking like a robot.
I call it the Microsoft Presentation Cadence.

Sszecret said,
Next week? That'd make sense. The Worldwide Partner Conference kicks-off this Sunday, so the timing's just right.
I'm a bit surprised about Julie's new position. I'm sure she's a great person, but her presenting abilities do need a bit more work. She's improved a bit since last //build/.
Bring on the reorg.

I honestly question why the head of the division needs to do the presentations exactly? Sure it would make sense that they know best being at the top but honestly why don't they let someone under her do it? That or she just gets better with more practice and so on, even at this BUILD you could clearly tell she was nervous. I say let Ballmer present things like he did with Windows 8.0 last year. I think he did a great job, forget what event it was though, heh.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make this have the same features on windows phone and windows. I want things like bookmarks to sync between my windows 8 and wp8 devices.

How about all settings to sync between wp and win8 contact information(properly) IE Tabs, addons, TPL, bookmarks, installed offical apps, store

majortom1981 said,
......

This is rumoured to be coming in the 8.1 (post GDR2) update.
I want the WP keyboard on my surface. They nailed that. The 8.1 one is better but still not there.

deadonthefloor said,

This is rumoured to be coming in the 8.1 (post GDR2) update.
I want the WP keyboard on my surface. They nailed that. The 8.1 one is better but still not there.

I think the surprise with using the windows 8.1 kb space bar to select text like they demoed was nice. You don't have that problem on the phone since the distance is so close compared to a bigger tablet device. Other than that, I think the two keyboards are pretty close already.

A woman on top of Xbox, the nerd stage? I'm sorry but that's just wrong. They really need someone who's respected among gamers, someone like Major Nelson.

bviktor said,
A woman on top of Xbox, the nerd stage? I'm sorry but that's just wrong. They really need someone who's respected among gamers, someone like Major Nelson.

While I can understand your desire to have someone respected among gamers, I'm confused by your need to point out that Larson-Green is a woman. How does that impact her ability to run the hardware unit?

Larry Hryb is great at interacting with the community, but I don't know that he's the person to oversee Microsoft's entire range of hardware products.

Don Mattrick isn't someone you compare to. He may be a great businessman, but he really wasn't a good presenter (at all), so being better than him isn't saying much. MS desperately needs an excellent Xbox executive right now, not just a decent one.

Anthony Tosie said,

While I can understand your desire to have someone respected among gamers, I'm confused by your need to point out that Larson-Green is a woman. How does that impact her ability to run the hardware unit?

You fail to see the whole point. It's not about the ability to lead a division, it's about the public perception. It's about gamers being able to look up to him/her, it's about gamers being able to identify themselves with him/her. I'm pretty sure Julie isn't exactly a hardcore gamer. And then, how could you take an Xbox announcement seriously from her? It will be either told to her or a made-up decision without much insight. Even Mattrick had much more of a history in gaming, and look at the results.

Be as emancipated as you like, you can't ignore the fact that hardcore gaming is mostly a man's business. Nowadays the public trend is to pretend everyone's exactly as good at everything as everyone else, but it's just not true. For example, women are usually much better at HR, men are typically better at IT, and so on.

Anthony Tosie said,
Larry Hryb is great at interacting with the community, but I don't know that he's the person to oversee Microsoft's entire range of hardware products.

Of course. I'm again just talking about the public communication skills and public perception. From what I've heard from/of him, I'm pretty sure Larry doesn't want to be the leader.

Maybe Xbox needs a division leader and a public person, something like a chairman + a CEO, except smaller, coz these 2 requirements (i.e. good leader vs good presenter) really rarely come together in one person.

Edited by bviktor, Jul 3 2013, 2:16pm :

bviktor said,
Don Mattrick isn't someone you compare to. He may be a great businessman, but he really wasn't a good presenter (at all), so being better than him isn't saying much. MS desperately needs an excellent Xbox executive right now, not just a decent one.

Julie really isn't a great presenter either, but aside from that she really is a great person and I think she'll do well in the new position.

bviktor said,
......drivel.......

This mentality is what's wrong with business today.
Stereotypes are not how one conducts business.
Next thing you know, some ass-backward racism will pop out of your keyboard next.
Grow Up.

deadonthefloor said,

This mentality is what's wrong with business today.
Stereotypes are not how one conducts business.
Next thing you know, some ass-backward racism will pop out of your keyboard next.
Grow Up.

Ignorance, shortsightedness, and pure arrogance at its finest. THIS is what's wrong with business today. The way you feel obligated to pretend everyone's equally excellent at everything (and call anyone who begs to differ a nazi), while it's a BIOLOGICAL FACT that it's just NOT TRUE.

bviktor said,
Be as emancipated as you like, you can't ignore the fact that hardcore gaming is mostly a man's business. Nowadays the public trend is to pretend everyone's exactly as good at everything as everyone else, but it's just not true. For example, women are usually much better at HR, men are typically better at IT, and so on.

Thus you, sir/ma'am, are the great pretender.

Edited by bviktor, Jul 3 2013, 3:00pm :

bviktor said,

Ignorance, shortsightedness, and pure arrogance at its finest.

A bit like being a sexist who makes sweeping generalisations and applies then to a single person? Yeah, great point, especially as xbox is only part of her remit and she's hardly going to be the one marketing/presenting it to the (yuk) 'nerd' stage.

bviktor said,
A woman on top of Xbox, the nerd stage? I'm sorry but that's just wrong. They really need someone who's respected among gamers, someone like Major Nelson.

Having a woman on top is the way to live life bro.

Chris123NT said,

Julie really isn't a great presenter either, but aside from that she really is a great person and I think she'll do well in the new position.

One other thing, even though JLG is in charge of the overall hardware unit why would she be the one to talk about or present Xbox? She oversees Xbox and Surface and so on but each of those have their own specific team leader who could just as well do the presentation and not her.

GP007 said,

One other thing, even though JLG is in charge of the overall hardware unit why would she be the one to talk about or present Xbox? She oversees Xbox and Surface and so on but each of those have their own specific team leader who could just as well do the presentation and not her.

Exactly. I wouldn't expect Panos Panay to stop running the Surface division under JLG (at least I hope not. I think he's doing a pretty good job), and I would expect someone else to be the lead or "face" of Xbox. IMO, of course.

DTrump said,

Exactly. I wouldn't expect Panos Panay to stop running the Surface division under JLG (at least I hope not. I think he's doing a pretty good job), and I would expect someone else to be the lead or "face" of Xbox. IMO, of course.

What's his name is still in Xbox, heck he might take over. The guy who's done all the Kinect demos on stage so far. Man I can't remember his name at all though. He'd always come out after Don did his little intro speech.

bviktor said,
A woman on top of Xbox, the nerd stage? I'm sorry but that's just wrong. They really need someone who's respected among gamers, someone like Major Nelson.

I think you're confusing business and politics. A division leader doesn't have to pander to the audience to stay elected. You just get someone else to represent the group at public events.

The damned last thing in the world a business needs is a sales personality running a team.

bviktor said,

Be as emancipated as you like, you can't ignore the fact that hardcore gaming is mostly a man's business. Nowadays the public trend is to pretend everyone's exactly as good at everything as everyone else, but it's just not true. For example, women are usually much better at HR, men are typically better at IT, and so on.

Wow. Just... wow. What century are you living in? Please say this was a joke and you're not really that ignorant.

bviktor said,

<-Drivel Removed->

Hey, buddy, just to let you know, some of the most "hardcore" gamers I know, are women.

Just putting that out there.

They really need someone who's respected among gamers, someone like Major Nelson.

You do realize Major Nelson is part of Marketing, not hardware, right?

"Microsoft's best-known product, Windows, would have a division all to itself that would combine both desktop and mobile Windows development, meaning Windows and Windows Phone would be overseen by the same leadership. Bloomberg claims Terry Myerson, who currently heads the Windows Phone unit, will oversee that combined division. "

I really like the sound of that.

Why do you even need one? You have notifications right on the main screen at all times. It does not need one, it would be nice for quick way to change settings from the main screen but really other than that I see zero point in a notification center.

It would also be nice to be able to even buy/use a WP here in America on Sprint. They are FINALLY bringing two phones, but both are mediocre and have no release dates... UGH I just want a nice WP and they won't even LET ME throw money at them

NiteJammin said,
Why do you even need one? You have notifications right on the main screen at all times. It does not need one, it would be nice for quick way to change settings from the main screen but really other than that I see zero point in a notification center.

Because not everyone has EVERY single app pinned to their homescreen, and might have too many apps to be practical, scrolling down to infinity to see if any of the tiles have any messages on them?

NiteJammin said,
Why do you even need one? You have notifications right on the main screen at all times. It does not need one, it would be nice for quick way to change settings from the main screen but really other than that I see zero point in a notification center.

I understand your point of view. If you're used to something and it works for you, it's hard to see validity in the opinion that what you're used to isn't good enough for someone else.

However, as someone who's used Android for a long time, as well as countless other desktop environments that make use of a backlog view of notifications, there are meaningful benefits.

I have missed call and SMS counters on my home screen, sure, and widgets here and there covering the rest, but ultimately I use them far less than the notification pull-down because it's just about always there. At any given time, from just about any given app, I can give that a little swipe, see what's built up so far, get a preview of the contents, and even interact with them to some small degree, without ever being pulled completely out of the application I'm currently using.

Dismissing a calendar alert, skipping a track, etc., are things I can do without having to suspend the app. That's a nice thing to have.

NiteJammin said,
Why do you even need one? You have notifications right on the main screen at all times. It does not need one, it would be nice for quick way to change settings from the main screen but really other than that I see zero point in a notification center.

Oh please, we all like Windows Phone 8 for the most part. You don't have to defend its flaws.

A notification center is useful because you can get all the notifications at a glance without having to hunt the tile down. Some of my apps on my iPhone 5 arent on the home screen and might even be in a folder. I like being able to just swipe down from the top to see ALL my notifications in a list.

I can even arrange the notification center to give priority to a certain app over another, and I can even show the list on the lock screen.

It's just one of those features that you might not use but others would.
I'd like this on Windows 8 as well.

This actually makes sense. I was curious on how they would go about this...guess we'll see how it all plays out. But I see this as a good thing.

So the 5 divisions would be OS, Acquisitions, Hardware, Server, and Applications/Services.

Julie Larson Green running hardware is the only questionable appointee there. Mattrick would have been a much more sensible choice given his success with Xbox and Kinect. Mattrick's departure really screwed things up. They need to bring in someone with a record of hardware successes, possibly a former Apple or Samsung exec. That hardware division sounds very problematic to me.

I can see a possibility of Tony Bates handling a Nokia merger to protect Nokia from a Huawei hostile takeover, then have Stephen Elop run and Nokia design Microsoft hardware. Nokia designing Surface, Lumia, and Xbox.