Ballmer Wants More Techies In High Positions

steve ballmer ray ozzie

Photo: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital

Bloomberg reports that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wants to place more engineers in high-level executive positions, and will announce a reorganization soon to put them there.Ballmer has been criticised in the past for having too many sales and marketing people in high-level positions, but that has already started to change at the highest levels of the company: former Entertainment and Devices President Robbie Bach and Business Division Stephen Elop both came from a general business background, but their replacements — Don Mattrick and Kurt Delbene — are more engineering focused.

Two of Microsoft’s other six presidents, Steven Sinofsky (Windows) and Qi Lu (consumer online services) are also technical rather than business focused. Only Andy Lees (mobile) has more of a business background.

Server and Tools President Bob Muglia also has a highly technical background, but he’s leaving this summer after a conflict with Ballmer. Now, Ballmer could be planning to replace him with another technical leader.

One possibility would be Eric Rudder, who has served as a technical advisor to Ballmer and Bill Gates and led one of Microsoft’s product divisions for a few years earlier this decade. He’s on the company’s senior leadership team, but has kept a relatively low profile for the last five years.

Ballmer may also be planning to fill the spot vacated by Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie last fall. At the time, Ballmer said the position would be eliminated.

Microsoft often announces reorganizations in the spring as it finishes its product planning for the coming fiscal year, which starts on July 1.

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