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|Platform, Consumer Units Reworked for Fiscal 2012|
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Microsoft's annual strategy review has yielded high-level organizational changes throughout the company. The changes provide some hints to the company's overall priorities for its 2012 fiscal year, which will begin in July 2011. In particular, server platforms, cloud services, and consumer marketing all have new leaders who might strike out in new directions.
Described here are notable changes to the Microsoft organization at the corporate vice-presidential level and above. Further details are available in the May 2011 Directions on Microsoft Executive Org Chart.
New Leaders for Server, Cloud Platforms
The Server & Tools division will have new leaders for some important developer-facing businesses, including parts of Windows Server and the Windows Azure cloud platform. The changes follow the arrival of Satya Nadella to take over the division from Bob Muglia, who is leaving Microsoft. (See the illustration "Server & Tools Division, May 2011".)
Scott Guthrie has been named corporate vice president, Azure Application Platform. Guthrie will be responsible for important application platform components of Windows Server and the Windows Azure cloud service, including the IIS Web platform and related APIs, and the AppFabric workflow and messaging components. Guthrie will also supervise the BizTalk Server application integration product as well as the Commerce Server product for e-commerce sites. Guthrie formerly led development of the .NET Framework developer platform, a position that is currently vacant. In his new role, Guthrie will report to Ted Kummert, senior vice president, Business Platform Division. Guthrie will probably focus on reducing differences between Web application and messaging technologies on Windows Server and Windows Azure, as well as enhancing developer tools for those technologies. A more uniform platform and better tools could prove key to beating cloud platform competitors such as Amazon, Salesforce.com, and VMware. However, Guthrie is not responsible for all Windows Server and Windows Azure technology: Bill Laing, corporate vice president, Server and Cloud, continues to lead development of core technology for both Windows Server and Windows Azure.
Tom Casey has been named corporate vice president, Business Platform Division. Casey will manage the SQL Azure cloud data management platform, the Windows Azure DataMarket marketplace for geographic data and similar data sets, and related functions. Casey was formerly general manager, SQL Server Business Intelligence (BI), a role now held by Kamal Hathi. BI will be an important priority in Casey's new role, as SQL Azure adds reporting and potentially other BI components alongside the existing SQL Azure Database relational database service. However, the unit will also need to update SQL Azure Database to work with Microsoft enterprise resource planning applications such as Dynamics NAV; Microsoft plans to start hosting those applications on Windows Azure and SQL Azure in calendar 2012. Casey will report to Ted Kummert.
Quentin Clark has been promoted from general manager to corporate vice president, SQL Server, Database Systems Group. As before, Clark oversees development of the SQL Server relational database management system as well as related technologies, such as the Parallel Data Warehouse platform, and reports to Ted Kummert. Clark's unit is heading for a major release in fiscal 2012 with SQL Server Denali (a code name). Denali is to deliver major upgrades to database technologies for high availability, disaster recovery, BI tools, and database deployment and maintenance, among others.
Office Leader Takes Consumer Channels and Corporate Marketing
Consumer sales and marketing will be reorganized under a new leader for fiscal 2012 who will also replace a longtime manager for corporate-level marketing and communications.
Chris Capossela has been named senior vice president, Consumer Channels and Central Marketing Group. He will lead sales and marketing through the OEM, retail, and mobile operator (carrier) channels and will also supervise central corporate marketing, advertising, and communications. Capossela formerly led marketing for the Office Division, responsible for major business application lines including Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Project, and Lync; Corporate Vice President Kirk Koenigsbauer now holds that role. A key priority for Capossela will be to keep consumer sales of Office 2010 moving as the version passes its first anniversary, but Capossela will also have to deal with challenges at the low end of the consumer market for Windows PCs (particularly tablets) and in mobile devices. The company has reportedly already made changes in consumer advertising, shifting Office and Bing advertising accounts from JWT, according to Ad Age. Capossela will report to Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner.
Mich Mathews has announced she will leave Microsoft and her role as senior vice president, Corporate Marketing Group, a role now filled by Chris Capossela. Mathews has been central to the company's marketing and communications for many years, taking over corporate public relations in 1993 and serving in central marketing and communications positions from then until now. On her watch, Microsoft consistently scored well in brand awareness and value surveys, although it has also been joined on the heights by competitors such as Apple and Google.
Changes Coming for U.S. Enterprise, India, Ad Sales
In the Microsoft field, one of the company's longtime cloud leaders has moved to enterprise sales in the United States, while the India subsidiary and ad sales units have new managers.
Ron Markezich has been named corporate vice president, U.S. Enterprise and Partner Group, responsible for U.S. enterprise sales and marketing to large organizations both directly and through partners. Markezich was formerly corporate vice president, Microsoft Online, managing the team that develops and runs Microsoft-hosted cloud applications such as Exchange Online. In fact, Markezich encouraged Microsoft's early rollouts of hosted, dedicated Exchange installations for large customers, such as Energizer Holdings, while he was serving as Microsoft's chief information officer. Markezich says one of his priorities in his new position will be coordinating the business transition to the cloud with ISVs and other partners, taking on competitors including IBM, Oracle, Apple, Google, Salesforce.com, and VMware. He will report to Robert Youngjohns, who is senior vice president, North American Sales and Marketing.
Bhaskar Pramanik has been hired as chairman and corporate vice president, Microsoft India. He will lead all marketing and operations there, including the company's development units, and will manage the company's relationship with government and other stakeholders in the company. Pramanik previously directed Oracle's India operations and before that held a variety of roles at Sun Microsystems, including head of that company's India unit. He takes command of a subsidiary with more than 5,300 Microsoft employees that include sales, research, product development, IT and customer support, and service personnel. Pramanik will report to Jean-Philippe Courtois, president, Microsoft International.
Frank Holland has been named corporate vice president, Advertising & Online, responsible for Microsoft's global advertising sales. He replaces Carolyn Everson, who left for Facebook after less than a year at Microsoft. Holland formerly was corporate vice president, Microsoft Operations, a position he held for six years and where he supervised most of the company's revenue-generating business processes, including software release, antipiracy, manufacturing, distribution, and agreement processing. (No replacement has been named for this role.) One possible priority for Holland will be the ongoing rise of Facebook, which comScore recently ranked as the top display ad publisher in the United States and which partners with Microsoft on search advertising but not display advertising. Holland might also work on the ad partnership with Yahoo. The companies recently decided to slow down the international expansion of that partnership to focus on improving revenue in its initial target markets, the United States and Canada. Holland will report to Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating officer.
Entertainment and Mobile Shifts
Microsoft's digital entertainment and mobile device businesses have seen some changes, including a new entertainment unit headed by an executive with a track record in emerging hardware businesses.
Tom Gibbons has been named corporate vice president, TV & Service Business. He will oversee the Xbox Live, Zune, PlayReady, and Mediaroom businesses. Gibbons formerly held the position of corporate vice president, mobile device strategy and commercialization, where he was responsible for mobile phone product planning, hardware development, and relationships with phone manufacturers; no replacement has been named. Before working on mobile, Gibbons led development of platforms for specialized devices, such as automotive devices and the Surface touch-enabled display. In his new role, Gibbons might be exploring new opportunities for entertainment devices, because smart phones, digital TV receivers (such as Apple TV) and expanding content providers such as Amazon, Apple, and Netflix continue to open up new delivery paths and endpoints for content. Gibbons will report to Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business.
Mark Whitten has been promoted to corporate vice president, Xbox Live and Live Services, from general manager. As before, he will oversee the Xbox Live business as well as gaming services, including Windows Live, MSN Games, and MSN Messenger games.
Todd Peters has left Microsoft and his former post as corporate vice president, Mobile Communications Marketing Group. He was responsible for outbound marketing, communications, and product management for the Windows Phone platform and services. He saw Windows Phone through its late 2010 launch, but business and market strategy for that platform will probably see substantial change with its recent adoption by Nokia. No replacement has been named for Peters; overall marketing and business management for the Mobile Communications Business unit continues to be led by Corporate Vice President Achim Berg.