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Memo from Steve Ballmer to Microsoft Employees: Let's go!

Tim Greene | July 12, 2013
Microsoft high priority: enterprise information assurance.

Beginning in 2014, Craig will continue as a consultant through his previously agreed upon departure date at the end of calendar 2014.

Also at this time, Rick Rashid will step away from running Microsoft Research and move into a new role driving core OS innovation in our operating systems group. Rick created MSR, the most amazing computer science research institution in the world. We owe him so much for that. He has a great team to assume the mantle, and it is exciting to have Rick return to his roots in OS to help propel us forward.

How We Work

The final piece of the puzzle is how we work together and what characteristics this new Microsoft must embody. There is a process element and a culture element to discuss.

Process wise, each major initiative of the company (product or high-value scenario) will have a team that spans groups to ensure we succeed against our goals. Our strategy will drive what initiatives we agree and commit to at my staff meetings. Most disciplines and product groups will have a core that delivers key technology or services and then a piece that lines up with the initiatives. Each major initiative will have a champion who will be a direct report to me or one of my direct reports. The champion will organize to drive a cross-company team for success, but my whole staff will have commitment to the initiative's success. We will also have outgrowths on those major initiatives that may involve only a single product group. Certainly, succeeding with mobile devices, Windows, Office 365 and Azure will be foundational. Xbox and Bing will also be key future contributors to financial success. Our focus on high-value activities — serious fun, meetings, tasks, research, information assurance and IT/Dev workloads — also will get top-level championship.

Culturally, our core values don't change, but how we express them and act day to day must evolve so we work together to win. The keys are the following:

Nimble

In a world of continuous services, the timeframe for product releases, customer interaction and competitive response is dramatically shorter. As a company, we need to make the right decisions, and make them more quickly, balancing all the customer and business imperatives. Each employee must be able to solve problems more quickly and with more real-time data than in the past.

Communicative

In the new, rapid-turn world, we need to communicate in ways that don't just exchange information but drive agility, action, ownership and accountability.

Collaborative

Collaborative doesn't just mean "easy to get along with." Collaboration means the ability to coordinate effectively, within and among teams, to get results, build better products faster, and drive customer and shareholder value.

 

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