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Nadella fine-tunes Redmond hierarchy with senior reshuffle

03 Apr 2014

“There’s a lot of work ahead of us and I am counting on every single one of you to bring your “A” game every single day.”

The closing line of Satya Nadella’s employee email says it all about Microsoft’s bid to fine-tune the company.

In a bold triple move, Redmond’s new CEO has revealed three management changes within the organisation, starting with the hiring of soon to be former Nokia boss Stephen Elop as Executive Vice President, Microsoft Devices Group.

Reporting directly to Nadella, the move will be effective following the close of the company’s deal with Nokia, with the acquisition expected to be completed by the end of April 2014.

“I’ve had a chance to work closely with Stephen, when he was previously a senior leader with Microsoft, as a key partner during his tenure as Nokia CEO, and again in the last several months as we’ve worked through the initial stages of integration planning,” Nadella told employees via an official company email.

“I look forward to working with Stephen as a key member of the senior leadership team and welcoming the Nokia Devices and Services employees to the Microsoft family.

“The mobile capabilities, hardware design expertise, and world-class manufacturing and supply chain operations they bring will help us drive innovations in devices to delight our customers.”

The shake-up will see Elop partner closely with Phil Spencer and Terry Myerson on Xbox, a division which sees Spencer take on a new role leading Xbox, combining the Xbox and Xbox Live development teams with the Microsoft Studios team.

Reporting directly to Myerson, Nadella says the move will allow Microsoft to keep gaming close to the group developing operating systems across devices.

In this new job, Spencer will lead the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video teams, and Microsoft Studios.

Completing the reshuffle is Scott Guthrie, who after two months as acting leader for the Cloud and Enterprise organisation, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, where he will continue to lead and drive the organisation.

“As you know, Scott has been a very public and passionate evangelist for many of our most important developer and infrastructure businesses,” Nadella wrote.

“Since joining Microsoft in 1997, he has made critical contributions to .NET and other pivotal technologies that help power the Microsoft ecosystem today, and most recently has been the driver behind the unprecedented growth of Microsoft Azure.

“As a leader, Scott has shown incredible energy and insight into how we create technology that others can build on, and which can be built on what others have created.”

Rally cry…

While not quite as dramatic as Steve Ballmer’s company announcements, Nadella’s statement mirrors his previous comments on Redmond’s renewed focus in the industry.

In essence, Nadella aims to fine-tune a leadership team capable of zeroing in on what truly makes Microsoft unique.

“As I said on my first day, we need to do everything possible to thrive in a mobile-first, cloud-first world,” he added.

“The announcements last week, our news this week, the Nokia acquisition closing soon, and the leaders and teams we are putting in place are all great first steps in making this happen.”