As Windows 10 launches, Stephen Elop leaves Microsoft
All change at Redmond as former Nokia CEO leaves tech giant for pastures new
Microsoft has shuffled its executive ranks, giving Windows chief Terry Myerson more responsibilities and casting out former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop (pictured). It’s been calculated that Microsoft’s 14-month ‘rent’ of former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop cost the firm at least $18 million, or about $1.3 million each month.
The Redmond firm also reduced the number of major engineering divisions from four to three. Two of these existed prior: Cloud and Enterprise (C&E), led by 18-year veteran Scott Guthrie, and Applications and Services (ASG), headed by Qi Lu. Guthrie’s group is getting Dynamics, Microsoft’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, which previously was in its own division.
Terry Myerson, who previously directed the Operating System group, will continue to do that, while also picking up the Devices team, which Elop had run since his return to Microsoft after the $7.9 billion Nokia acquisition finalised last year. Myerson’s new group, a mash of his OS team and Elop’s Devices division, will be called Windows and Devices Group, or WDG for short.
The creation of Myerson’s WDG was a return to how Microsoft organised its engineering efforts immediately after the mid-2012 launch of its Surface and Surface Pro tablets, the company’s first-ever personal computer. Then, Julie Larson-Green, who was later shunted to a different role after Elop came aboard, ran the engineering of Microsoft’s OSes and its hardware.
“That’s a massive group,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, in an interview today. “I think it might almost be too big to manage.”
But Rob Helm, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, saw it differently. “I think this underlines the fact that Microsoft’s hardware business is going to be the first and best customer of Windows,” he argued.
Moorhead viewed the rearrangement of executives’ chairs as a continuation of the massive reorganisation that Ballmer instituted in July 2013. The then-CEO called