Report: Microsoft to Put Windows Phone Chief in Charge of All OS Development
July 3, 2013 3:46 PM
Shakeup will consolidate previously separate units, reportedly
cites sources at Microsoft Corp. (
) as saying that Chief Executive
Steve Ballmer's leadership change
will start be consolidating all of Microsoft's hardware products -- including Surface and Xbox -- under a single new unit, which would be headed by Windows chief Julie Larson-Green.
The Xbox unit (formally the interactive entertainment division) had been left leaderless after Don Mattrick, its former chief, jumped ship to
become CEO of Zynga
). Some reports suggested Mr. Mattrick was fired for making comments about digital rights management (DRM) and the Xbox One. In an interview Mr. Mattrick had told gamers who didn't have 100 percent reliable internet to
not buy an Xbox One
, a suggestion many disgruntled gamers took to heart. Microsoft eventually
backed down from that policy
Microsoft's CIO Tony Scott
also recently bailed, prior to the upcoming shakeup.
It is unclear whether Mr. Ballmer would then appoint a new Windows President, or if Ms. Larson-Green would fill both slots. One source says that Terry Myerson -- the current Windows Phone chief -- will likely be put in charge of all operating system development, including desktop Windows. That move would likely mean a continuation of Microsoft's "Metro" (aka Modern UI) assault on the desktop/laptop market, much to the chagrin of critics of that design direction.
Windows Phone chief Terry Myerson will report lead all OS development at Microsoft.
[Image Source: Reuters]
Marketing for various units (Windows, server, hardware, etc.) would also be consolidated into a single unit, which would be headed by Tami Reller, who currently is marketing chief for just the Windows unit. Another shift from a financial perspective would be that the chief financial officers (CFOs) of the new units would report directly to company CFO -- Amy Hood -- versus the current situation the CFOs the present units report to their unit chief.
Julie Larson-Green will reportedly manage all Microsoft HW development. [Image Source: AP]
A final new unit would be tasked with managing acquired/merged-in businesses and with wooing developers. That unit will be headed by Skype president Tony Bates.
Sources say the exact roles are still being finalized and may be shuffled before an official announcement comes. Overall the changes are designed to reposition Microsoft as a "devices and services" firm, Microsoft's long term vision. The shift towards first party hardware and cloud services would make Microsoft look a lot more like Apple, Inc. (
), a radical shift for a company that started off with a narrow focus on software.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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