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Ballmer: Three-layered plan will lead to 'One Microsoft'

Juan Carlos Perez | Sept. 23, 2013
Two months in, it's hard to tell the status of the realignment plan that's supposed to bring cohesion and agility to Microsoft.

It's not clear from Ballmer's comments if they're done with the entire realignment process in their respective units or just with the second layer.

Meanwhile, Myerson, the OS team chief, has made "some moves" and "probably has a few more over time as his guys figure it out," Ballmer said, adding that at least he has put in "the structure below him."

"Satya has perhaps fewer changes that he will make. Obviously, with the acquisition of Nokia, there will be a set of work that needs to go on that Julie will work on with Stephen Elop, who will run that area," Ballmer said, referring to cloud chief Nadella, device and studio head Larson-Green and Elop, Nokia's CEO, who will rejoin Microsoft when that acquisition is completed. When Elop left for the Nokia job in September 2010, he had been president of what then was the Business Division at Microsoft, where he oversaw products like Office, and he was also a member of the senior membership team of Microsoft Corporation from 2008 until his departure.

There isn't much to change in the Dynamics team other than "matrixing in the marketing and some of the other functions," Ballmer said.

Meanwhile, Qi Lu, chief of the Applications and Services Engineering Group, is further behind, according to Ballmer, because he's still deciding what will be the best structure for his team.

"So when there's news, there will be news, but he has not done anything at the layer underneath him. His structure looks exactly like it looked before the reorg, and it could stay that way or he could choose to change it," he said.

Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for clarification on the timetable and progress of the reorganization.

The reorganization is of great importance to employees, customers, partners and investors, because, as Ballmer himself said on Thursday, the restructuring isn't simply about moving people around the company.

Rather, the plan grew out of months of deep discussions among the senior executives on how to make the company more agile, more innovative and more competitive as it transforms itself from a provider of packaged software for PCs and servers and into a provider of hardware devices and cloud services.

"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 when he announced the reorganization.

The plan seeks 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.


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