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Microsoft executive shakeup pushes Stephen Elop out the door

Posted: 19 Jun 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsoft  Stephen Elop  cloud  Nokia 

Microsoft has revealed changes to its corporate line-up that will result in the departure of senior executives such as former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, Kirill Tatarinov, and Eric Rudder. All will leave Microsoft following a transitional period.

We've been hearing a lot over the past few months about how three ambitions have become the crux of CEO Satya Nadella's focus for Microsoft's future: Creating more personal computing, reinventing productivity and business processes, and building the intelligent cloud.

"We are aligning our engineering efforts and capabilities to deliver on our strategy and, in particular, our three core ambitions," said Nadella. "This change will enable us to deliver better products and services that our customers love at a more rapid pace."

Some industry watchers saw this coming. "I wasn't surprised by the fact that there was going to be an executive shake-up," noted Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

Nadella is no longer brand-new to Microsoft's helm, King explained. It takes a few months for an executive to get the lay of the land and make strategic decisions. A new CEO appointment usually leads to an immediate "rush to the door." A second shuffle follows a few months later.

Last July, Microsoft cut 18,000 jobs following its $9 billion Nokia acquisition. Wednesday's announcements could be considered the "secondary rush," he said.

Elop, who took over Microsoft's hardware device business following the Nokia acquisition, will leave Microsoft as a result of the most recent shakeup. His exit, while newsworthy, isn't necessarily a shock.

"The departure was almost foretold," King said.

Given Nokia's hefty price tag, there were plenty of high expectations for the changes Elop would bring to Microsoft's mobile business. To date, none of these predictions came to pass, and mobile is still sluggish in Redmond. King mentioned that despite his lack of success, full blame for the struggling mobile division should not solely rest with Elop.

After all, it's tough to compete with the likes of Apple and Google.

Now mobile projects will fall to a new team, the Windows and devices group, which will combine the engineering efforts of the current Microsoft devices group and operating systems group. EVP Terry Myerson will lead the division's efforts to enable more personal computing on Windows devices such as Surface, Lumia, Xbox, Microsoft Band and HoloLens.

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