[In case you missed it, here’s a one-on-one interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that ran in the print edition of The Seattle Times on July 14, 2013.]
On Thursday, CEO Steve Ballmer announced one of Microsoft’s most sweeping reorganization in years, designed to increase collaboration and speed of innovation as the company transitions into a devices-and-services company.
He realigned the company according to function, cutting in half the number of product divisions and centralizing operational services.
In an interview with The Seattle Times after that announcement, Ballmer talked about how he intends to carry out that restructuring, how the company’s stack-ranking job-performance review system fits into his push for broader cooperation, and whether there’s a succession plan.
Here is the interview, edited for length:
Q: The reorganization is designed to enhance collaboration. I’m wondering how you plan on (executing) that. Is that more in the people who are heading these new units or in the structure with the cross-company teams?
A: I think it starts with the strategy. We’re not working on divisional strategies that we roll out; we’re working on a company strategy that we roll down. That’s No. 1, a single strategy.
No. 2 is goal sets. As we begin our new financial year (which started July 1), we start with a set of shared goals as opposed to a set of divisional goals that we then try to get some layer of harmonization against.
No. 3, we’re being quite explicit with particularly our engineering people that they own engineering areas. (For instance) the network team does networking, and they’re going to be the networking team for Microsoft, not that there’s going to be three or four networking teams…
No. 4, there is some work on the culture, and particularly underscoring the need to focus more. We talked about five key attributes: being nimble, communicative, collaborative, decisive and motivated — and collaborative and communicative are key parts of this.
Q: How do you plan to inculcate that?
[Continue reading the interview here.]