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Ballmer unveils broad Microsoft reorganization

The Microsoft CEO wants the company to operate in a more efficient, unified manner, pursuing common goals

By Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service
July 11, 2013 10:20 AM ET

IDG News Service - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled what he termed is a "far-reaching realignment" of the company designed to help Microsoft innovate faster and operate in a more coherent and holistic manner as it faces a variety of challenges from rivals big and small.

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"Going forward, our strategy will focus on creating a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses that empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value most," Ballmer wrote in a memo sent to all Microsoft employees.

The reorganizations' three main angles are to focus the whole company on a single strategy, improving its capacity in all its business and technology areas and collaborating better around a common set of goals, he wrote.

"This is a big undertaking. It touches nearly every piece of what we do and how we work. It changes our org structure, the way we collaborate, how we allocate resources, how we best empower our engineers and how we market," Ballmer wrote.

The overall goal is to have "One Microsoft," according to Ballmer.

As part of the plan, Office chief Kurt Del Bene will retire from the company. Leading the new Operating Systems Engineering Group will be Terry Myerson; the Devices and Studios Engineering Group will be led by Julie Larson-Green; the Applications and Services Engineering Group will be led by Qi Lu; and the Cloud and Enterprise Engineering Group will be led by Satya Nadella.

Myerson's Operating Systems Engineering Group will oversee all OS work for gaming consoles, mobile devices, PCs and back-end server systems, including OS cloud services.

At the Devices and Studios Engineering Group, Larson-Green, until now one of the two Windows OS chiefs, will focus on all hardware development and their supply chain strategy. This group will also be in charge of "studios experiences" including games, music, video and other entertainment.

Qi Lu, until now the leader of Microsoft's online services, and his Applications and Services Engineering Group will be in charge of applications and services core technologies in productivity, communication, search and other information categories.

Nadella's Cloud and Enterprise Engineering Group, will be responsible for back-end technologies, including technologies for data centers, databases and enterprise IT systems and development tools. Nadella had been in charge of the Servers and Tools group.

Thus, these four groups will be in charge of Microsoft's new four main engineering areas: operating systems, applications, cloud computing and devices.

The Dynamics enterprise software products will continue to operate as it has under Kirill Tatarinov, but reporting to Lu, Reller and to COO Kevin Turner.

Eric Rudder will lead the Advanced Strategy and Research Group, replacing Rick Rashid, while Tami Reller, the other Windows chief prior to the reorganizations, will head the Marketing Group.

Turner will remain as COO, while Tony Bates, currently Skype president, will be in charge of the Business Development and Evangelism Group. Amy Hood, who has been the CFO for a few months, will be in charge of the Finance Group, while Brad Smith will remain as general counsel leading the legal unit. Lisa Brummel will remain in charge of human resources.

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