Microsoft shake-up ‘last ditch’ effort by Ballmer

Senior executives set to be moved today

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is set to announce a radical restructure amongst the company's executive hierarchy today. The rumoured move, said a former Microsoft evangelist, is a "last ditch" effort by Ballmer to solidify his position at the head of the company.

The CEO is expected to focus operations towards devices and services and away from software, a move Ballmer previously indicated may be on the horizon in a letter to shareholders last October. Microsoft Ireland had “no comment to make on any suggested Microsoft reorganisation”.

However, founder, and former Microsoft developer evangelist, Martha Rotter says the move may be a result of "analysts and people who have been investing in Microsoft" becoming frustrated with the company "getting beaten by competitors" in different sectors of its business.

Adds Rotter: “What’s scary to me is there still doesn’t seem to be any great successor or great follow on for [Ballmer]. I think if this doesn’t make a difference for Microsoft, people are going to be looking for a replacement for him and I don’t know if anybody has a clue who that might be.” Rotter also notes that if the reorganisation is handled correctly it could create a more “transparent” air to Microsoft’s structures.


The need for this transparency was also alluded to by Michael MacDonnell, director of Quinn School of Business in UCD, who said: “The product range of Microsoft is perhaps easy to describe but the organisation that supports it isn’t. You talk about desktop, operating systems and the enterprise end of it, it’s not always clear how that lines up within the organisation.”

Changes are rumoured to include a shake-up on the devices front with Julie Larson-Green set to move from jointly heading up Windows operations to overseeing development on everything from the Surface tablet to the Xbox.

According to sources who spoke to online news site AllThingsD, servers and tools chief Satya Nadella will take charge of a new "cloud computing and business-focused products unit", while elsewhere Windows Phone chief Terry Myerson could take over ultimate responsibility for Windows engineering and platforms.

Skype president Tony Bates is set take the reins for Microsoft's business development plans. New roles for Microsoft Office president Kurt DelBene, business solutions president Kirill Tatarinov and COO Kevin Turner are rumoured to be under discussion as well.

Microsoft reported a net income of $6.1 billion for the financial quarter which ended this March, up 18 per cent on the figure from the same period last year.