The changes that are sweeping through Microsoft continued this week with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealing further changes in both leadership and corporate organization. He says the changes are designed to "tune" Microsoft's organization for maximum focus and impact.
"Today marks the start of another big week for Microsoft as we gear up for the Build conference in San Francisco," Mr. Nadella writes in yet another email message to employees that was published publicly. "In advance of Build, I want to highlight three announcements about how we're continuing to evolve and tune our organization for maximum focus and impact."
First up is Scott Guthrie. About two months ago, Mr. Guthrie was assigned as acting leader of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise organization as part of a sweeping set of leadership changes at the company. (Those previous changes included the exits of both Tami Reller and Tony Bates.) Now, Mr. Nadella has promoted Guthrie to Executive Vice President of the Cloud and Enterprise organization, so he's staying on fulltime. "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," Mr. Nadella writes in the email.
Meanwhile, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will indeed be joining Microsoft as Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Devices Group, and he will report directly to Nadella. This needs to wait on Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's devices and services businesses, which is expected to conclude sometime in April.
Finally and perhaps most dramatically, Nadella also revealed that Microsoft will combine its Xbox and Xbox Live development teams with the Microsoft Studios team. This new Xbox group will be led by Phil Spencer, who will now report directly to Terry Myerson, who runs development for all of Microsoft's client OSes, suggesting that the Windows/Xbox One ties are indeed as close as many had expected. "Phil will lead the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video teams, and Microsoft Studios," Nadella writes. "Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team under a single leader and aligning with the [OS Group] team will help ensure we continue to do great work across the Xbox business, and bring more of the magic of Xbox to all form factors, including tablets, PCs and phones."
On a related note, Nadella notes among other appointments that Mike Angiulo, previously a prominent fixture in the Sinofsky Windows regime, "will continue leading Xbox hardware." But he doesn't mention that Antoine Leblond, another victim of the Nadella and Myerson purges, has apparently left the company after 25 years there. We're seeing this happen with more and more of the Sinofsky acolytes. Recode says Leblond is leaving Microsoft effective today.
Nadella closes with a call to action, similar to his exhortation two months ago that the senior leadership team needed to be "all in" on the strategy.
"I've discussed with the Microsoft leadership team the need to zero in on what truly makes Microsoft unique," he writes. "As I said on my first day, we need to do everything possible to thrive in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. 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."
"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," he continues, lest there be any confusion.