Julie Larson-Green, currently head of Microsoft’s hardware division, will be leaving that role to take on a new job working to unify the user experience across Microsoft products such as Office, Skype, Lync and Bing.
In her new role, Larson-Green will be leading a team within Microsoft’s Applications and Services group called “My Life & Work,” and serving as chief experience officer.
It will be her third role in the company in less than a year.
Larson-Green, a 20-year Microsoft veteran, had been one of two leaders of the Windows division after former Windows head Steven Sinofsky left in late 2012.
Then, in the company-wide reorganization that began last July, Larson-Green was named executive vice president of the Devices and Studios group, leading the division responsible for developing Microsoft hardware, including Xbox, Surface, and accessories. She also oversees Microsoft Studios, including the development of games, entertainment and interactive experiences.
As an executive vice president, she is part of Microsoft’s senior leadership team — the company’s top echelon.
But Larson-Green was essentially demoted when it was announced in September that Microsoft would be acquiring Nokia and that, once that deal closes, former Microsoft exec and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop would be returning to Microsoft to head the Devices and Studios group.
Larson-Green would then be reporting to Elop, losing her executive vice president title and her place on the senior leadership team.
So her move to the Applications and Services group, which will take place after the Nokia-Microsoft deal closes and Elop makes his expected transition in to Microsoft, will essentially be a lateral move.
In her new role, Larson-Green will be reporting to executive vice president Qi Lu. (The Applications and Services group includes Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, Lync, Skype, Bing, Bing Apps, MSN and the advertising platforms and business group.)
Here is the memo she sent to some Microsoft employees:
As you will read in the notes below from Qi and Satya, I’ve accepted a new challenge, leading the My Life & Work team in ASG and serving as the Chief Experience Officer (CXO). As hard as it is for me to leave Devices & Studios, I’m thrilled about this opportunity. In working with company leaders this year to establish our One Microsoft vision and plan, I thought about ways I could have impact on helping Microsoft prepare for the future and innovate. My discussions with Satya and Qi made clear this is a critical space to drive new thinking and an essential way to help the shape the company’s direction. I’m looking forward to developing the Digital Life & Digital Work Experience Substrate that powers modern digital experiences regardless of device, as well as working across ASG to strengthen customer experiences.
I want to thank each and every one of you for welcoming me and supporting me as the leader of Devices & Studios over the past 7 months. I’m very proud of what we have accomplished during such a short timeframe. We launched Xbox One, Surface 2 & Pro 2, blockbuster games like Forza and Ryse, a brand new Xbox Music and Video service, PPI, and some amazing unannounced innovations just to name a few – incredibly impressive!
Our opportunity to grow as a world-class devices and experiences company is greater than ever, and I have every belief that as One Microsoft we’re on the right path. The addition of Nokia Devices & Services into the DnS family will add tremendous scale, talent and opportunity for our future.
I’ll remain in role leading the DnS organization in the interim until the Nokia deal closes and Stephen Elop makes his transition to Microsoft. We’ve been meeting regularly throughout and are making a lot of progress, ensuring our teams are ready for the Day 1 close and beyond.
You are all in great hands with Stephen and already we’ve shared a lot with him and his LT from Nokia regarding all of the fantastic people, teams and products in DnS. I also know many of you are looking forward to welcoming the Nokia team and working more closely with them.
As I look to the future, I’m reminded of a favorite Chinese proverb: “To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”
I encourage you all to stay focused on the journey and opportunities ahead, and know that I’ll be there in step with you as we launch the next chapter of Microsoft.