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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I. Tu.

March 31, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Nadella makes more changes to his leadership team

Following on his shuffling of the leadership ranks earlier this month, new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced more changes today.

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group. (Photo from Microsoft)

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. (Photo from Microsoft)

Nadella this morning named Scott Guthrie executive vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise group. Guthrie had been serving as interim head of the group after Nadella, who had previously led the division, became CEO last month. The promotion today means he’s now the permanent (well, as permanent as these things get) head of the group.

Phil Spencer, most recently head of Microsoft Studios, will be taking on a new role, leading a combined team of Xbox and Xbox Live development teams and the Microsoft Studios Team. Spencer, who will report to Operating Systems division head Terry Myerson, will now lead Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video teams, and Microsoft Studios. (Microsoft Studios produces gaming and entertainment experiences.) Spencer posted his own note about his new role here.

Once Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business if finalized, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will return to Microsoft to head what is now being called the Microsoft Devices group. (The division had formerly been called the Devices and Studios group.) The decision to have Elop head Microsoft’s hardware division was announced last September when Microsoft said it was acquiring Nokia’s phone business.

Here’s the email from Nadella outlining the changes:

From: Satya Nadella

To: Microsoft – All Employees

Subject: Tuning our organization

Today marks the start of another big week for Microsoft as we gear up for the Build conference in San Francisco. We continue to push on the momentum from last week’s news about how we will thrive and grow in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, as shown by the great Office apps for iOS, rich new APIs for developers and our new Enterprise Mobility Suite.

In advance of Build, I want to highlight three announcements about how we’re continuing to evolve and tune our organization for maximum focus and impact.

First, I am pleased to announce that after his two months as acting leader for the Cloud and Enterprise organization, I have promoted Scott Guthrie to Executive Vice President, where he will continue to lead and drive the organization. As you know, Scott has been a very public and passionate evangelist for many of our most important developer and infrastructure businesses. Since joining Microsoft in 1997, he has made critical contributions to .NET and other pivotal technologies that help power the Microsoft ecosystem today, and most recently has been the driver behind the unprecedented growth of Microsoft Azure. As a leader, Scott has shown incredible energy and insight into how we create technology that others can build on, and which can be built on what others have created. Please join me in congratulating Scott on his promotion!

Next, I have asked Phil Spencer to take on a new role leading Xbox, combining the Xbox and Xbox Live development teams with the Microsoft Studios team. Phil will report to Terry Myerson, allowing us to keep gaming close to the group developing operating systems across devices. In this new job, Phil will lead the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video teams, and Microsoft Studios. 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. Phil will continue his close partnership with Yusuf Mehdi, who leads business strategy and marketing for Xbox, George Peckham, who heads up third-party partnerships and Mike Angiulo, who will continue leading Xbox hardware. Over the years, Phil’s team at Microsoft Studios has helped build a community of more than 80 million Xbox owners and 48 million Xbox Live members through blockbuster game franchises such as “Halo,” “Gears of War,” “Kinect Sports,” “Fable,” “Forza Motorsport” and many others. He’s helped drive the development of brand-new entertainment offerings like the partnership with the NFL and the formation of Xbox Entertainment Studios. 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.

Finally, effective with the close of our deal with Nokia, Stephen Elop will join Microsoft as Executive Vice President, Microsoft Devices Group, reporting to me. We expect to close the acquisition by the end of April 2014. I’ve had a chance to work closely with Stephen, when he was previously a senior leader with Microsoft, as a key partner during his tenure as Nokia CEO, and again in the last several months as we’ve worked through the initial stages of integration planning. I look forward to working with Stephen as a key member of the senior leadership team and welcoming the Nokia Devices and Services employees to the Microsoft family. The mobile capabilities, hardware design expertise, and world-class manufacturing and supply chain operations they bring will help us drive innovations in devices to delight our customers. 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.

Recently, I’ve discussed with the Microsoft leadership team the need to zero in on what truly makes Microsoft unique. As I said on my first day, we need to do everything possible to thrive in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. 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.

There’s a lot of work ahead of us and I am counting on every single one of you to bring your “A” game every single day. I look forward to our second employee Q&A session on Thursday and hearing what’s on your mind and sharing more about what’s on mine.

Satya

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: phil spencer, satya nadella, scott guthrie

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