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Microsoft restructuring plans expected by July 1st, leaving some execs worried

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is likely to reveal his plans to restructure the massive company to executives by July 1st, according to AllThingsD's sources. The thought of the shuffle has reportedly made multiple top managers concerned about just what Ballmer's significant plans will entail. Sources state the CEO has only been consulting with a small group of direct reports, as well as some board members.

Rum: 8

This means that most senior executives have largely been kept out the loop when it comes to the decision making related to Ballmer's dream in solidifying Microsoft into the "devices and services company." Should these changes include some shifts and possible departures, it'll not be anything new as we recently lost Steven Sinofsky last year. One source close to the situation said the following:

"It feels like it is going to be titanic — that Steve is doing this change for his legacy. And it’s the first time in a long time that it feels like that there will be some major shifts, including some departures."

It's believed Microsoft has not experienced such a change as what is expected to come since similar shifts were carried out by former CEO and co-founder Bill Gates. Another source said it would be humorous if Ballmer does nothing in the end since the level of worry has increased. It would make a worthy April Fools, I'm sure.

Accoring to AllThingsD, internal focus is reported to be strong on Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft’s Servers and Tools division; Tony Bates, president of its Skype communications unit; and Don Mattrick, president of its Interactive Entertainment division. As well as these positions, many are wondering how the job of Qi Lu, president of Microsoft’s Online Services unit, will shift in the upcoming changes, as well as that of Terry Myerson, who runs our beloved Windows Phone division.

Many expect Ballmer to unveil his plans internally, ahead of the end of Microsoft's fiscal year. It's not clear when a public announcement will be made. There's something in the wind, folks. We'll have to wait and see what the plans will reveal.

Source: AllThingsD

Rich Edmonds is a word conjurer at Windows Central, covering everything related to Windows, gaming, and hardware. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a device chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • *restructuring
  • Hahaha I saw that too.
  • Darn pesky titles!
  • It is not "clear"... last para... ;)
  • MY TURN! "has only be consulting"?
  • Awh man!
  • Woop woop
  • I am hoping these changes lead to more positive momentum on phones and tablets.
  • +1
  • As long as glorious Joe Belfiore is still around, I don't care? None of us really should, so long as it doesn't lead to messed up products down the line.
  • True to that. That guy means a lot for the WP community. I like to read is twit. Always have some goodies for us, Windows phone users.
  • He should be bakc again as the VP...Myerson should step down.
  • Agreed...something about Myerson always made me think he was up to no good
  • That will be interesting to see how these changes affect the windows and windows phone division. A merge between the these division were overdue and to see how the current windows have been introducing new feature ms with the imminent windows 8.1, I expect the same level of drive and fast-released features for WP. In the meantime, I cannot wait for windows 8.1. Two more days :)
  • Yep, too true. Also looking forward to see how these changes will affect the Windows ecosystem.
  • I'm inclined to feel that MS needs fresh management for many of their divisions, not promoted veterans. Windows Phone is really chugging in feature set, Xbox was mismanaged, Windows 8 could do with some big momentum, Bing desperately needs global competency, Store and Surface roll out is slow, etc. Of course, I'd be happy to be proven wrong if said veterans rise to the task when provided with larger resource pools due to the restructuring.
  • I don't think it's an issue of veteran vs. fresh meat... I think it's about having competent communicators in the positions. People who both listen/engage in what customers want-- business and consumer alike-- as well as inform/educate the public on the direction being taken.
    As we've seen over and over, the public WANTS to know what's going on. So as Microsoft has slowly begun to do that, we've seen that they don't always tell us the why/how they're going to get there. Moreover, they aren't always checking (in spite of all the metrics they perform) to make sure the direction they're going is what the public wants. It's great that Microsoft is mirroring a walled-garden approach in following suit with Apple, unless of course the public is buying into Google's mentality of let people have/do whatever they want... in which case, we're going to see Microsoft dropping the way Apple has been dropping. (Although, for the record, I think Microsoft is better at giving multiple options than Apple.)
  • I just really hope we get executives who actually care about their divisions... Terry could use some of the enthusiasm we have all come to know and love from Joe.
  • Yup I think a restructure will actually be beneficial for WP n bring the ecosystem as a whole more in line with each product n service :)
  • Could this be what the Nokia meeting was about? Is Nokia going to be a part of MS and reap the financial benefits of MS? Will Joe be joining Stephen Elop running the cell business????
  • ...CEO has only "been" consulting...
  • ...its not "clear" when public announcement...
  • Yes, get rid of the skype managers who even put dead blackberry ahead of windows phone for skype updates. WTF.  Time to wake up, microsoft pays their salaries.
    Also, I want to see the idiot who authorised the pathetic scrollbar, which is impossible to view in Windows 8, leave now.
  • They are supposedly putting the head of Skype in an even bigger position, the same person who allowed the whole thing to happen in the first place Should just get rid of all Skype management, period
  • that's an.... odd complaint
    Theyh made windows 8 to be more touch-orented. That's why the scrollbar isnm't vsible unless you hover over it wth your mouse. With change comes compromse. To me, this isn't much of a compromise and adds vsual fidelity to the whole windows 8 experience
  • What dio you mean? If I am using windows 8 on a laptop or desktop why do I care if windows 8 is touch friendly. And how is it touch friendly by making the scrollbar disappear? Is 0.5 cm on the screen taken by the scrollbar obstructing any of my 20inch screen space?
    Windows 8 seems to be able to understand that I am using a mouse, a touch screen on a laptop or a proper tablet so can't see where is the technical issue with this, and how an almost invisible scroll bar makes things better for a  desktop user. It just annoys people.
  • I have to agree. The system is fully aware of whether or not the screen is touch-enabled. If it isn't, UI elements like scroll bars should behave more appropriately. Otherwise I love Windows 8.
  • Is Huwai trying to buy Microsoft now?
  • +1
  • I just hope this reorganisation will improve the PR and marketing. They have made pretty good products but the PR and marketing have failed big time with Windows Phone, Xbox (one) and Windows 8. There seem to be lots of leaks lately and rumors that have been on the internet way too long for them to go unnoticed. I can understand you don't want to respond to everything, but the whole Xbox One debacle was mostly because they didn't talk about any rumors at all to debunk them. Even after the reveal.
    And some quotes from Mattrick or other personel also didn't help it at all.
  • Nailed it.
  • Promote Joe, that guy rocks and knows how to treat his customers!
  • I'm with you on that one... Joe is the man.
  • If we don't hear about any update for Skype for WP8 at "build" on Wednesday, you definitely know they don't give a shit about WP8. They need some young minds running MS...
  • Hopefully he moves Don Mattrick to a position where his mouth can't do any damage, would be nice to get Allard back.
  • As long as Balmer is running the show there won't be enough change to change the perception of MS. He represents the "old guard" - something many people today don't want to be associated with, so regardless of anything good he may have done for MS he'll be viewed as the person who doesn't represent a real shift. MS needs more young blood at the top.
  • Interesting article. Last I heard, there was a strong possibility that J. Allard would be returning because of the re-org.
  • That would be nice. J. Allard did appear during the XBox One announcement back in May, although it was pre-recorded.
  • I still think Don Mattrick should be fired for the PR nightmare he created with the Xbox One....maybe it will happen.
  • Should've made a very public apology or been shown the door. He basically showed himself to be an insensitive, unpatriotic jerk.
  • *humorous *rumors???
  • Hopefully the changes will result in better cooperation between the different MS divisions and we will never see a situation again where a Skype update is made for all other platforms but not for Microsofts own WP.
    Or situations where Windows is released with key features missing, e.g. wifi network management, ad hoc connectivity from control panel in Windows 8.
  • "Lost" Sinofsky? Wasn't he fired? Certain wording must have been negotiated into his termination agreement. 
  • He resigned, not fired.
  • Perhaps. People often are allowed to resign before they are fired.
  • You can't fire me! I quit!
  • So basically Don Mattrick is uploading his resume to as we speak?
  • One can only hope he's en route to Google or Apple.
  • "If you don't know how to hold a phone correctly, we have a product for you... it is called iTouch!"
  • Nah, nah he would suggest the iPhone 3GS ;)
  •, he is hoping for $100k +
  • I hope this restructuring improves the teamwork between the different divisions and get them to realize they are working on a platform ecosystem that in many ways drive each others products. They all seem so damn self centered at MS at the moment.
  • Praise the Lord for it to happen!
  • Teamwork between different divisions? Hahaha! This is Microsoft we're talking about. By all accounts, internal rivalry is absolutely the defining characteristic of their corporate culture. Division against division, team against team, employee against employee. It would take more than a re-org to fix this, even if it's the biggest re-org ever.
  • You saying it cant get better? Thats a bit negative thinking aint it?
  • Nope, not saying it can't get better.  Just saying it would take more than a re-org.  Much more.  Perhaps along these lines:
  • Well that is a reorganization.
  • I believe that it could get better much faster if the board ousted Ballmer.
  • Important to remind everyone that Microsoft's fiscal year ends June 30th, and this type of change happens every July, so it's probably not a sign of gloom and doom as much as a reallignment around that concept of devices and services.
    I'm not sure what I expect from this. Devices and Services is a very broad scope. If I were Ballmer, I would put Windows (including Server and Embedded units) and Windows Phone and Xbox all in the same realm this time around. It would, in my opinion, allow further unification and expanded cooperation of those platform cores. Also, I would keep all of the Office units-- Office, Exchange, Lync/Skype, SharePoint-- together with Visual Studio and SQL in a unit along with Bing and "Live" services-- SkyDrive, Hotmail, etc.
    In charge of those units, I'd place a mix of technical and marketing types, because you can't let one side dictate the message. The people chosen would have to have a track record of effective communication with the public.
    One thing I would do above and beyond whatever shifts they have... promote Ben Rudolph to head up more of their marketing efforts. This guy "gets it". He's a vocal, upbeat advocate and certainly loyal to the business and the message.
  • "The people chosen would have to have a track record of effective communication with the public." Why can't Microsoft ever get this part right?
  • Correct. Ben DOES get it. I have lately been unable to visit a movie theater without seeing both Windows Phone and Microsoft Surface. If only someone with marketing savy and vision can now explain to the general public how SkyDrive and Office365 tie both the home and business sides of their life together. Only then will we see mass "buy-in" from those currently worshipping at the fruit altar.
  • I agree... I love the latest Windows 8 and Bing advertising, and Windows Phone at the movies too, but I want to see more for Office 365 and anything at all for SkyDrive. Nobody I know is even aware that SkyDrive exists, and the one person I know that had heard of it used it once a few years ago.
  • I agree with you wrt need to promote SkyDrive more. However, I'm not sure Office needs more promotion. The typical consumer wouldn't have a need for Office, since free products would suit consumers' needs. However, SkyDrive could be great for consumers, especially for managing media.
  • Do you think the new head of OS will finally address the Other storage problem, maybe by the anniversary of WP8 1 year after it was identified and 10 months after Belfiore acknowledged it?  
    Maybe requiring MS products to support MS handsets would be just super too.  I'm looking at you skype. 
  • Why don't MS hire Steve Jobs? He probably can drive MS to success.
  • I'm guessing it's because a) he's the most anti-Microsoft competitor of all time, and b) he's dead... but I'm also assuming you're being sarcastic.
  • I really hope they send Terry Myerson packing... The few times that guy has posted on the windows phone blog I got the impression he is a completely out of touch with reality buffoon.
  • Go MS! Ballmer is a clever guy, so he doesn't dress like a hipster, so what ?!
  • Pack those bags Mattrick.
  • MS needs to become a unified force. Right now they are a collection of individual companies each with varying goals and a clear lack of communication.