July 11, 2013
Microsoft Reshuffles, Refocuses And Unifies Its Corporate Echelon
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent out a memo to all Microsoft employees this morning which outlines a reorganization for the company. A shakeup in executive aligning in Redmond has been rumored for some time. Ballmer defined a new vision for Microsoft, one which places more emphasis on their relatively new business model of building devices as well as services.As a part of the restructuring, Microsoft Office's head, Kurt DelBene, will be leaving after more than 20 years with the company. Terry Myeson, who once served as head of the Windows Phone group, will now be promoted to VP of the operating systems engineering group. His new department will cover operating systems for all devices, said Ballmer. Skype president Tony Bates will now take the reins of the Business Development and Evangelism Group which will build relationships between Microsoft and OEMs. Several other Microsoft executives are also being shuffled around as a part of this important move, which Ballmer claims will help the company become more agile, efficient and nimble.
In a memo laden with corporate buzzwords, Ballmer explains the company's new vision and the new direction in which he plans to guide it.
"Today's announcement will enable us to execute even better on our strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that best empower people for the activities they value most and the enterprise extensions and services that are most valuable to business," writes Ballmer.
"Going forward, our strategy will focus on creating a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses that empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value most."
Ballmer's memo also mentions "One Strategy, One Microsoft" as a sort of goal for the company. Microsoft has previously been chided for working as a collection of divisions rather than as single holistic team. Ballmer addresses this in his memo, saying: "We are rallying behind a single strategy as one company - not a collection of divisional strategies. Although we will deliver multiple devices and services to execute and monetize the strategy, the single core strategy will drive us to set shared goals for everything we do."
Microsoft will now be split into four different engineering areas: Apps, Cloud, Devices and OS. Behind these four engineering goals the company will work to deliver products which work together as a whole, incorporating all operating systems and all features, including Bing, Skype, etc.
As a part of this new direction and unified vision, several members of the executive team have been shuffled around. One particularly interesting move regards Craig Mundie, former chief research and strategy officer for Microsoft. Though he had planned to retire next year, Ballmer now says he'll be devoting "100% of his time to a special project for me" till the end of 2013. Once the special project is complete, Mundie will stay on as an advisor until he makes his final at the end of 2014.
Shortly after Apple released Siri for the iPhone 4S, Mundie famously called Apple's intelligent assistant "good marketing" before mentioning that Microsoft had similar technology in their phones "for more than a year."