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Microsoft Windows chief Terry Myerson leaves as part of major reorganization

Microsoft reorganizes into a smaller teams as it shifts focus towards AI and cloud computing

  • Published: March 30, 2018 9:36 AM IST

Microsoft has announced another major reorganization as it prepares itself for an AI-first future. The Redmond-based software major has reorganized its leadership almost every year, but this is a major reorganization across the board in a long time. As part of the reorganization announced by CEO Satya Nadella in an email addressed to Microsoft employees on the morning of March 29, the company showed how it is responding to changing tech scenarios by regrouping core assets into different verticals.

The most notable change is Terry Myerson, who headed Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group (WDG) since 2013, and is now leaving the company. Myerson joined Microsoft in 1997 when Microsoft bought his company Interse, and led the Exchange team. He ran the Windows Phone business and was later appointed as head of the unified Windows team in 2013. Myerson was later made chief of WDG group, which includes Windows, Surface, Xbox, Windows Server and HoloLens. He was also a member of Microsoft’s Senior Leadership team for the past several years.

“Terry has been instrumental in helping me arrive at this new organizational structure, and I deeply appreciate his leadership and insight as we’ve worked through the opportunity that lies ahead,” Nadella wrote in his email.

Two New Engineering Units

In order to streamline the whole company, Microsoft has announced two new engineering units – Experiences and Devices led by Executive Vice President Rajesh Jha, and a newly announced Cloud and AI Platform group led by Executive VP Scott Guthrie. Microsoft says pieces of Windows and Devices Group (WDG) will become part of these new engineering units. Harry Shum, the Executive VP of AI and Research will continue to lead that unit.

Ahead of this reorganization, Microsoft’s corporate structure revolved around a handful of key teams like WDG, Office, Cloud and Enterprise, AI + Research and Gaming. The reorganization announced today will affect all teams except LinkedIn and Gaming, which operate on their own.

Leadership Change

Rajesh Jha has been with Microsoft since 1990, and has been heading the development and engineering teams for Office 365. Nadella says the purpose of Experiences and Devices unit led by Jha will be to “instill a unifying product ethos across our end-user experiences and devices.” Surface chief Panos Panay has been elevated to Chief Product Officer, and will lead devices vision and push company’s efforts into hardware and software for first-party devices.

Jha will be supported by Joe Belfiore, who rejoined after a year long break as lead for Windows experiences. “The future of Windows is bright as we continue to innovate across new scenarios and device form factors, and more deeply connect to our Microsoft 365 offerings. Joe will share more about the Windows roadmap at Build,” Nadella said. Kudo Tsunoda and Brad Anderson will support New Experiences and Technology and Enterprise Mobility and Management.

Scott Guthrie, the most prominent face in Microsoft’s Senior Management team and head of company’s cloud division, will further drive Nadella’s vision of “intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.” Azure division will be led by Jason Zander, who has been promoted to Executive VP.

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Satya Nadella took over as the third CEO of Microsoft in 2014 when the company was being written off tech pundits. However, in the past four years, Nadella has overseen a major transformation in company’s culture, and created it as a leader in transformation areas like cloud computing, artificial intelligence and research. The announcement today shows how the company is putting cloud and AI ahead of primitive technology, and Nadella says they will all “have to push themselves to transcend Conway’s law” in his email.

  • Published Date: March 30, 2018 9:36 AM IST