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BLOG: With rumored reorg, Microsoft tries to simplify

Shane O'Neill | June 4, 2013
The mounting pressure on Steve Ballmer to streamline Microsoft is finally leading to some action.

Microsoft's new commitment to being a "device and services company" — as noted by CEO Steve Ballmer in his annual shareholder letter last October — could be what just what the company needs to right this heavy, crowded ship.

But that level of reorganizing invariably will lead to a shakeup at the executive level. And maybe it started this weekend with the announcement that CIO Tony Scott will be leaving Microsoft to "focus on personal projects."

Steve Ballmer

On the other hand, the "restructuring" could lead to expanded roles for other execs, including Satya Nadella, president of its Servers and Tools division; Tony Bates, president of its Skype communications division; and Don Mattrick, president of its Interactive Entertainment division.

Sources close to Microsoft say that a corporate restructuring is high on Ballmer's priority list. As it should be. Calls to streamline Microsoft's convoluted structure have reached a fever pitch. Shareholders have been critical of Microsoft's direction. Analysts have recommended selling off the Xbox and Bing businesses. And Ballmer's competency as leader in the age of mobility has been in question for the past few years.

On the heels of Microsoft reorg rumors, the company is also reportedly cutting prices on Windows RT tablets to boost sales of the struggling ARM-based version of Windows 8.

However this device and services reorg plays out, it's clear that Microsoft is starting to do something to simplify, streamline, change the status quo, etc.


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