The long time head of Microsoft's Windows Phone division is leaving his role, but will stay at Microsoft in a new position. AllThingsD.com reports that Andy Lees, who has been in charge of Microsoft's efforts in the smartphone business for over three years, will still retain the title of President at the company but will now be working with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on new ways to link a number of devices together, including smartphones, tablets and PCs, including those devices that have Windows 8 inside.
In an internal company memo, Ballmer said:
I have asked Andy Lees to move to a new role working for me on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8. We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential.
Ballmer's statements sound like there will be a lot of cross-platform plans for Windows Phone and Windows 8 in the future. In the same memo, Ballmer praised Lees for his work leading the Windows Phone division, saying:
In the three years Andy has been leading the phone group, we’ve come a long way. We reset our strategy, built a strong team that delivered [Windows Phone 7] and [the Mango update] and created critical new partnerships and ecosystem around Windows Phone. That is a ton of progress in a brief period of time, and I’m excited for Terry and team to keep driving forward and for Andy to dig into a new challenge.
As far as Lees' replacement, Ballmer has named Microsoft vice-president Terry Myerson to take over the business development, marketing and other duties for Windows Phone. Myerson was previously in charge of the Windows Phone engineering group so he obviously is familiar with the Windows Phone unit as a whole.