Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Details emerge of possible Microsoft reorg, including Bates and Larson-Greene moves

We’ve been hearing since the beginning of June that Microsoft, and specifically CEO Steve Ballmer, were prepping a major reorganization of the company to better reflect their new role as a “devices and services” company. Rumors were that we would hear about the specifics of the plan by July 1st but that time has come and gone.

Now, Bloomberg is citing a few sources on one possible plan for the company.  One move has Skype president Tony Bates being placed in charge of acquisitions and relationships with software developers, while current head of Windows Julie Larson-Greene (who was on stage recently at Build), would get oversight of hardware engineering for the whole company, including Xbox, Surface and what else Redmond has at their Skunkworks.

Microsoft's Julie Larson-Greene

Bloomberg notes, however, that these plans are not final and some last minute changes could still be expected, making this story more of a potential direction rather than a solid one.

Recently, Xbox head Don Mattrick left the company in a surprise move to head up Zynga. Evidently, Mattrick was being considered for the hardware oversight role before he left to be CEO of struggling game maker Zynga.

Speculation that Windows Phone chief Terry Myerson would oversee that division and some of the software of Windows 8.x is also still on the table, further teasing the idea that Windows 8 and Windows Phone will come closer and closer under a single head.

With the July 4th holiday afoot, we wouldn’t expect to hear much more on this reorganization until at least next Monday. But make no mistake, it will send some shockwaves through the company when it does happen.

Source: Bloomberg


Reader comments

Details emerge of possible Microsoft reorg, including Bates and Larson-Greene moves


Whilst I'm glad that desktop Windows and windows phone  are going to be under the same management, I'm not sure Terry Myerson will be  the best man for the job. He has so far been an utter failure running the Windows phone division ( slow delivery of updates, missing features, waning developer interest , etc) . Elop and Nokia has done a far better job of sustaining Windows phone than he and his team have.
All he does when he speaks to the press is to slam android and talk about how much of a mess it is rather than dwelling on the streghts and positives of Windows phone. 

It seems you are seriously underestimating what's at stake for Microsoft: if Windows Phone was ever to fail, they would be missing on one of -if not- THE biggest market in the coming years which is Mobile... Windows Mobile is finally dead, Kin is dead and they absolutely HAVE to succeed with Windows Phone.

You say Nokia has more to lose than Microsoft and I think you are right, but that doesn't even start to justify how lacking Microsoft turned out to be with their Mobile platform.

I'm sure the BILLION dollars a year Microsoft is paying Nokia helps in their output. But maybe a BILLION doesn't go far these days.

Lol!  Do you think that Nokia's mapping data, and the mobile IP is free?  Microsoft should be paying Nokia a billion dollars, if not more!

I like the idea of having a ReOrg. at Microsoft, but putting Julie Green in the hardware section is a huge mistake. I think that Panos Panay (Surface) must take over. This guy is passionate about the product, he dropped surface on the stage to show people how solid it IS ... Seriously Green must in the Windows division, Phill Spencer (Microsoft Studios) or Tony Bates must take on the services division (Both of them are reliable) , and Panos must be the guy resposible for hardware division...


Panos Panay is a pretty damn good speaker , and Larson Green is one of the worst presenters I have seen. But that is no way to judge the performance of a person, I'm quite pleased with the work she has done on Windows 8.1 so far. I would have loved to see Panos lead the Hardware division but we'll just have to wait and see how the whole thing works out. 

It's not only about speaking... Julie is doing a great job, but she has nothing to do with hardware. (She is a terrible speaker with cheesy jokes) Panos is the one that is behind Surface. He has the experience to create a product that is reliable (not like Don, Oh god) And ya, he knows what the consumers want. A kickstand was a simple idea that was never implemented beautifully before.   

I like Panay , but lets be frank the Surface hasn't been a resounding success.. at least not yet ! But then again he is just the manager and not the designer or engeering brains behind it.  The real brains behind Surface was  Stevie Bathiche and I presume he's still leading the team . 

While Steven Bathiche is a brilliant scientist, he was responsible for the innovative feature of the Surface - the touch keyboard. He was not the brains behind all of Surface.

Thank you! It's just beyond me how someone in his right mind would entrust Laurie Green with a presentation or keynote.
She probably is a capable resource behind the scenes, but that doesn't prevent her from topping my list of 'worst speakers in Business' or making it into a top 50 most awkward moments...

At the moment, Microsoft's best spokesmen are arguably 'Panos Panay' and 'Michael Angiulo'.

Whatever this reorg brings, I hope Microsoft internally recognizes the need to move cohesively and organically from this point forward. Units should constantly be thinking about how they can leverage strengths together, not be thinking like a high school popularity contest.

I think this is a really important point, there can't be anymore little fiefdoms inside MSFT competing against each other. A simple example of this how other divisions of MSFT don't bring their software bits to Windows Phone first before iOS or Android.

Really that assh**e of Skype promoted? Really? The same stupid that can't release new features on their own platform first? You need to be kidding Microsoft

Mary Jo Foley believe the reason why we didn't get an update for Skype because the WP team is wanting to integrate Skype 100% in the OS.

Bla bla bla i heard it all before...that stupid shit Guy was promoting android phones on twitter...should be fired

I'm confused, Mary Jo Foley is a women, think you might of replied to the wrong comment. Better luck next time.

No, he is still referring to the skype guy, not Mary Jo. If you read the whole thread it makes perfect sense. He's just saying he doesn't care what Mary jo siad, he still thinks the skype guy should be fired.

Here's my issue with that.  This was already shown for WP8, and now it is looking like a WP8.1 thing.  Microsoft has been terrible at showing features, then they never show up.  

That's not the most flattering photo of Ms. Larson-Greene ;). Anyway, I think she worked wonders in Windows 8.1. Seems to be rather capable and destined for more.

If Nokia had the chance to take over the Windows Phone division, It'd a win for Microsoft... LOL, The Windows Phone team is awful, extremely slow updates. Nokia is working harder, much harder. I would love to see Windows and Windows Phone divisions combined under one roof, but having a windows phone excutive ruling the whole division would be a disaster.

Slow updates?
Why you think that the update are slow?
Windows Phone team will release three minor update in year and at the end of this year (on in early 2014) he well release a major update.

It seems to me that this roadmap is perfectly in line with a normal development cycle

Can you compare it with other platforms? Windows Phone is amazing but for god's sake... How many days does it take to add rotation lock?

The credibility of these wide spread rumors is so low that I sometimes feel the reality might just be the opposite. The predicted Don would be promoted, then he left. They predicted big announcement by 7/1, nothing happened.

They are all too damn old and slow to KEEP up with how fast things are changing much less stay ahead. Too many chiefs also. Balmer needs to step up and say do it this way or hit the door.

I think they need some young blood like me. Where are they late twenty early 30 year old people who can relate compared to these dinosaurs?

I sincerely hope Terry Myerson isn't put in charge of Windows.
While I know the WP team have had a tough time of it the past 18 months (first having to port everything to NT and now (probably) into RT they have been truly shocking at their communications, updates, and anything that's truly meaningful to users (the marketing has been great, as has the hardware, but that's down to Nokia mostly) and it could be disasterous if he ended up running Windows too.
While Julie Larson-Green isn't the best presenter in the world (though she was much improved at //Build/ last week) she can clearly deliver. She's been where the action is and shown to be able to rapidly turn things around, and to not be afraid of pulling the product into the future when it needs it (see both Office and Windows 7 and 8, she was right there with Sinofsky and been the main player surrounding 8.1) and I think it would be great to keep her running Windows.
As I've said before, Windows Phone just needs to be wrapped up into Windows RT, it doesn't need to be a seperate product, especially when 8.1 has almost all the features of WP already (and quite a few that WP should have by now). There's simply no point keeping them seperate at this stage.

Maybe, but keep her away from stage. No wonder windows 8 got a bad word from the press, they probably got asleep during the presentation :)

" it will send some shockwaves through the company when it does happen."
Shufling of executives hardly sends any shockwaves unless it goes accompanied with a re-org.

What is wrong with Julie Larson-Greene's face? Has she had some surgery? Did she have an accident? It's like she had a cleft lip but apparently she didn't. This is the question people seem unwilling to ask!

They need to reorg the Windows Phone 8 UI and add missing features and not everone is crazy about Windows 8.1 for desktops either.