Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was quite serious about the company transitioning into more than just a software company and showed it today with a reorganization that will see many executives changing responsibility.
The biggest change at Microsoft, however, is not so much personnel related but that the intern divisions will have new directions and new names.
The channel will no longer see business units such as Windows, Server and Tools, the Business Division, Entertainment and Devices and Online Services. Also these groups will no longer have a lead and it’s on financial executive.
Ballmer said that he wants to create a leaner organization focus not just on software, but devices such as Surface and services such as Office 365 and SkyDrive.
Rob Sanfilippo, a research analyst for Directions on Microsoft told CDN that the company is trying to re-invent themselves with services and the rapid release strategy. He said the new strategy is a sound one that will help them compete better with the cloud services players such as Google and Amazon Web Services. But the challenge still remains to keep new versions in sync with those on the cloud and those old customers who still want their solutions on-premise.
None of these changes will have any impact on Ballmer as he will remain CEO and Kevin Turner, the next in line at COO.
Ballmer announced that all OS will be in one unit, while support groups such as marketing and strategy will be utilized centrally across all product groups.
While Ballmer said these moves will be implemented in a phased approach some workers will start immediately.
The biggest name to leave the company is Kurt Del Bene. Dell Bene, the president of the Microsoft Business Division, announced that he was retiring from Microsoft. Don Mattrick, the president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment and Business Division which includes Xbox left the company to become the CEO of Zynga.
And, long time veteran of Microsoft Craig Mundie has been asked by Ballmer to work on a special project for Ballmer that will be finished by the end of this year. Ballmer did not say what the special project was. After that Mundie will be a special consultant for Microsoft for one more year.
The rising star in this reorganization might be Julie Larson-Green, who took over for Steven Sinofsky late last year when he unexpectedly resigned shortly after Windows 8 was launched.
Larson-Green is now the new head of Windows and Surface along with the lead executive for Microsoft’s engineering group for new devices. She will now be in charge of not just Windows, but Surface, Xbox, mice, keyboards and games.
The current chief of Windows Phone Terry Myerson will now lead the new Operating Systems Group.
Qi Lu is in charge of Applications and Services group and will run Bing, MSN, Office 365, Dynamics CRM and ERP, Skype, Yammer and Lync.
The old server and tools boos Satya Nadella will be the lead executive for the Cloud and Enterprise Group.
The woman with the many titles at Microsoft Tami Reller will be leading the newly formed cross-company marketing unit. Reller was the corporate Vice President and CFO for Windows and Windows Live along with being the Chief Marketing Officer.
Skype boss Tony Bates will head up another new cross-company unit on business development.
Amy Hood will be in charge of a company-wide finance group.
Turner, while still COO did lose a little bit of responsibility. He will no longer have final say on OEM alliances and marketing.