Microsoft’s Nadella Reshuffles Leadership Team

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 01, 2014

Satya Nadella

In one of the new CEO Satya Nadella’s first management shakeups, Microsoft has recently named three executives to its cloud, devices and Xbox gaming divisions.

Scott Guthrie: The Cloud Hero

According to a recent Reuters report, in a public email, Nadella announced the promotion of Scott Guthrie to head of the cloud and enterprise group, the $20 billion division that Nadella helmed before replacing Steve Ballmer as CEO in February.

Nadella said Guthrie “has been a very public and passionate evangelist for many of our most important developer and infrastructure businesses” and has made key contributions to “pivotal technologies that help power the Microsoft ecosystem today.”

Read: Meet Microsoft’s New Cloud Head: Scott Guthrie

Stephen Elop: Leading devices

Former Nokia Oyj chief executive Stephen Elop - at one time considered a candidate to replace Ballmer - will join Microsoft as executive vice president of the devices group, reporting to Nadella, after Microsoft closes its $7.2 billion acquisition of the Finnish device manufacturer.

The two companies first announced the deal in September 2013, under former CEO Steve Ballmer’s reign. Elop was previously president of Microsoft’s Business Division in charge of Office and a member of Microsoft’s senior leadership team.

“Stephen will partner closely with Phil and Terry on Xbox and will bring together many of the top leaders from his existing Nokia Devices and Services organization as well as the current leaders of the Devices and Studios team,” Nadella wrote.

Phil Spencer: Xbox magic

Microsoft had also named Phil Spencer to lead its Xbox operation, reporting to operating systems group chief Terry Myerson. As the head of hardware, Elop will also play a role in developing the Xbox, Nadella said in the email. For years, analysts were apprehensive about the fate of the Xbox business and whether it will result in a spin-off.

“Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team under a single leader and aligning with the OSG team will help ensure we continue to do great work across the Xbox business, and bring more of the magic of Xbox to all form factors, including tablets, PCs and phones,” Nadella wrote. The mail further stated that Yusuf Mehdi will continue to lead Xbox business strategy and marketing, while George Peckham remains in charge of third-party Xbox partnerships and Mike Angiulo will still oversee Xbox hardware.

“I love the way the Xbox team is focused on great games and gaming experiences—go, ‘Titanfall’ —, connects with its fans, pushes the boundary of entertainment and has embraced the power of the cloud in such interesting and impactful ways. Phil is the right person to lead Xbox forward,” Nadella wrote.

Everything’s first

Nadella, who unveiled Office for iPad at his first public appearance last week, signaled that he would shift the company’s emphasis away from prioritizing its Windows operating system at the expense of other initiatives.

“As I said on my first day, we need to do everything possible to thrive in a mobile-first, cloud-first world,” Nadella said in an email. “The announcements last week, our news this week, the Nokia acquisition closing soon, and the leaders and teams we are putting in place are all great ‘first steps’ in making this happen, said the CEO who himself was the proponent of a ‘mobile-first-cloud-first’ world.