Steve Ballmer - (returning) CEO
Steve Ballmer has been CEO since Bill Gates stepped down in Jan. 2000. He's seen the company through major hits -- Windows XP and Windows 7 -- plus some controversial "misses" -- Windows Vista and Windows 8. He masterminded the reorganization with the help of close friend, Ford Motor Comp. (F) CEO Alan Mulally.
B. Kevin Turner - (returning) COO
Mr. Turner is a star of the business world, and was considered a brilliant acquisition for Microsoft back in 2005. A true self-made multi-millionaire, Mr. Turner worked as a Cashier at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) while going through college. He would rise through the management ranks to be appointed President and CEO of Wal-Mart bulk retail subsidiary Sam's Club at 29. That made him the youngest corporate officer ever at Wal-Mart.
In 2005 he accepted an offer to become COO at Microsoft, a post that had gone unfilled for three years. At Microsoft Mr. Turner's biggest function has been driving license sales, a function that he has performed reasonably well.
Some are wary that Microsoft may lose Mr. Turner to some rising star looking for a chief executive, or alternatively he might jump ship to launch his own investment group. Currently in his ninth year at Microsoft, Mr. Turner is actually the longest standing COO in Microsoft history (the previous record was set by Microsoft's first COO, John Shirley, who lasted eight years.
COOs at Microsoft have a tendency to jump ship; the previous COO Richard Belluzzo last only 14 months, while Bob Herbold left in 2001 due to retirement, having held the reigns for 7 years. Before that there was John A. Shirley ('83-90) and Michael Hallman ('90-92) [source].
Terry Myerson - (new) Windows EVP
After heading up the Windows Phone effort, Mr. Myerson now finds himself in charge of heading the design of both Windows Phone and Windows. On the one hand this seems troubling due to Windows Phone's failure to make a major impact. On the other hand Windows Phone is beloved by most of its small but growing user base, and the low market share arguably is due to the horrible design stall that occurred during the Windows Mobile era.
This move arguably also makes sense in that Microsoft is bring its user interface and code base of its mobile and PC operating systems much closer together with its next release, Windows/Windows Phone 8.1. Given how poorly received Windows 8 was, Mr. Myerson will have to figure out a way to backtrack on some changes, tweak others, and in general better retrain users to use the new Windows UI.
quote: Of all the risers at Microsoft, Ms. Larson-Green arguably has jumped the farthest within Microsoft's internal ranks.
quote: Having a someone who works really hard, but isn't that good, in charge of a project is, well, not a good idea.