Microsoft have announced a "once in a lifetime" reorganisation today which seems more than ever to put CEO, Steve Ballmer firmly at the reins of control.
Today (Thursday, Seattle time), Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation unveiled a set of sweeping changes which seeks to realign the entire company. Mr Ballmer is quoted as having said that it will allow Microsoft to innovate faster and operate 'as one' to fend off challenges from rivals big and small.
Leaving the company will be Microsoft Office chief, Kurt Del Bene. However, Ballmer has committed to cutting down the silos and generating new co-operative groups within the organisation, leading to new faces across the executive. The new groups created in todays announcement include an Operating Systems Engineering Group, Devices and Studios Engineering Group, Applications and Services Group and the Cloud and Enterprise Engineering Group.
Recent posts in the NZ Enterprise Tech Blog and also on our Podcast are now synonymous with industry wide calls for Steve Ballmer to leave Microsoft. However, in this move, Mr Ballmer seems front, line and centre, leaving no clear succession path. Ballmer has been heading the company since Bill Gates' step down in 2000, however many say that Steve Ballmer never really got a full chance to call Microsoft his own until Gates' final retirement in 2006. Although Ballmer has seen a number of smaller reorgs in the past, this has not made noticeable cessation of the drop in Microsoft's share price. Criticism that Microsoft has been slow to react or poorly execute in many new major sectors especially in mobile computing and cloud computing have been blamed heavily here.
The next six to twelve months will be a telling time for Microsoft under the helm of either a power-mad Ballmer, or a Ballmer who has finally wrangled the old Microsoft into a lean machine capable of catching up with the rest.
Further news of the update follows, courtesy of Slashdot:
The “new Microsoft” will feature a whole lot of new and reorganized groups:
Operating Systems Engineering Group: Led by Terry Myerson, and focusing on all OS aspects from mobile devices to PCs and back-end systems. “The core cloud services for the operating system will be in this group,” Ballmer wrote.
Devices and Studios Engineering Group: Led by Julie Larson-Green, this group will focus on hardware development and supply chain; it will also handle “studios experiences” such as games and music.
Applications and Services Engineering Group: Led by Qi Lu, and tasked with handling broad applications and services core technologies in productivity, communication, search and other information categories.
Cloud and Enterprise Engineering Group: As the name suggests, this group will concentrate on datacenter, database, and other enterprise technologies.
Dynamics: “Kirill Tatarinov will continue to run Dynamics as is,” Ballmer wrote, “but his product leaders will dotted line report to Qi Lu, his marketing leader will dotted line report to Tami Reller and his sales leader will dotted line report to the COO group.”
Advanced Strategy and Research Group: Led by Eric Rudder, this group will apparently explore technology and policy issues.
Marketing Group: Led by Tami Reller, and tasked with centralized advertising and media functions.
COO: Kevin Turner is staying in this position.
Business Development and Evangelism Group: Former Skype CEO Tony Bates will (as long rumored) lead this group, where he’ll focus on partnerships and evangelism. “OEM will remain in SMSG with Kevin Turner with a dotted line to Tony who will work closely with Nick Parker on key OEM relationships,” Ballmer wrote.
Finance Group: “Amy Hood will centralize all product group finance organizations,” Ballmer wrote. “SMSG finance, which is geographically diffuse, will report to Kevin Turner with a dotted line to Amy.”
Legal and Group Corporate Affairs Group: Brad Smith remains as Microsoft’s General Counsel.
HR Group: Lisa Brummel will lead Human Resources.
Kurt Del Bene, head of Microsoft’s Office division, is apparently retiring from the company; Craig Mundie, senior advisor to Ballmer and its former Research and Strategy Officer, is being shifted to an unnamed special project.