- Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Thursday morning announced a sweeping executive reshuffling.
- The biggest change: Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of Windows, will leave “in the coming months.”
- The leader of Microsoft Office, Rajesh Jha, will take control of a new group that encompasses Windows and Office.
- Other executive moves include a new title for Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s cloud boss, as the company increases its emphasis on artificial intelligence for business software.
Terry Myerson, the executive vice president of Windows who has long been a leader at Microsoft, will leave the company “in the coming months” as part of a big reshuffling of executive leadership announced on Thursday.
“His strong contributions to Microsoft over 21 years from leading Exchange to leading Windows 10 leave a real legacy,” CEO Satya Nadella wrote of Myerson in an email to employees announcing the changes. “I want to thank Terry for his leadership on my team and across Microsoft.”
As part of the reorganization, Rajesh Jha, the executive VP of Microsoft Office products, will expand his responsibilities to encompass Myerson’s role. Jha will become the leader of a group called Experiences and Devices, bringing Windows and Office together under a single banner.
“The purpose of this team is to instill a unifying product ethos across our end-user experiences and devices,” Nadella said. “Computing experiences are evolving to include multiple senses and are no longer bound to one device at a time but increasingly spanning many as we move from home to work and on the go.”
Myerson sent his own email to employees about the change, saying that he plans to take time off before his next opportunity.
“[It’s] time for me to take a break, and then look forward to my own next chapter. I’m excited to see what’s next professionally. In the meantime, I can’t wait to spend quality time with my family and pursue a few big life goals,” Myerson wrote.
Other changes include:
- Scott Guthrie, Nadella’s right-hand man who’s the executive VP in charge of Microsoft’s fast-growing enterprise cloud business, will lead a new group called Cloud and AI Platform.
- Jason Zander, a major leader on the Microsoft Azure cloud-computing platform, will be promoted to executive VP, though he will not join Nadella’s senior leadership team, a council of top managers from across the company.
- Harry Shum will stay in his role as Microsoft’s research boss, but he will work more closely with Guthrie’s and Zander’s teams to help bring more artificial intelligence into the Azure platform.
- Panos Panay, the exec in charge of Microsoft Surface, will be the chief product officer overseeing the company’s hardware businesses.
- Alex Kipman, the creator of the Microsoft HoloLens holographic goggles and the Xbox Kinect sensor, is now the leader of a new group called AI Perception and Mixed Reality.
In the email, Nadella frames the changes as crucial to the continued growth of Microsoft by bringing together experts in different areas to work more closely with one another.
“It will take courage to keep learning and growing together – encouraging one another’s individual strengths, building more diversity and inclusion across our teams, and collaborating as One Microsoft,” Nadella said.
Here’s Nadella’s full email announcing the changes:
Today, I’m announcing the formation of two new engineering teams to accelerate our innovation and better serve the needs of our customers and partners long into the future.
Over the past year, we have shared our vision for how the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge will shape the next phase of innovation. First, computing is more powerful and ubiquitous from the cloud to the edge. Second, AI capabilities are rapidly advancing across perception and cognition fuelled by data and knowledge of the world. Third, physical and virtual worlds are coming together to create richer experiences that understand the context surrounding people, the things they use, the places they go, and their activities and relationships.
These technological changes represent a tremendous opportunity for our customers, our partners – everyone. With all this new technology and opportunity comes a responsibility to ensure technology’s benefits reach people more broadly across society. It also requires that the technologies we create are trusted by the individuals and organisations that use them.
Today’s announcement enables us to step up to this opportunity and responsibility across all our Solution Areas.
With change comes transition, and one transition we have been planning for is for Terry Myerson to pursue his next chapter outside Microsoft. Terry has been instrumental in helping me arrive at this new organizational structure, and I deeply appreciate his leadership and insight as we’ve worked through the opportunity that lies ahead. Over the past several years, Terry and the WDG team transformed Windows to create a secure, always up-to-date, modern OS. His strong contributions to Microsoft over 21 years from leading Exchange to leading Windows 10 leave a real legacy. I want to thank Terry for his leadership on my team and across Microsoft. He will work with me on the transition over the coming months.
Moving forward, Rajesh Jha will expand his existing responsibilities to lead a new team focused on Experiences & Devices. The purpose of this team is to instill a unifying product ethos across our end-user experiences and devices. Computing experiences are evolving to include multiple senses and are no longer bound to one device at a time but increasingly spanning many as we move from home to work and on the go. These modern needs, habits and expectations of our customers are motivating us to bring Windows, Office, and third-party applications and devices into a more cohesive Microsoft 365 experience. To further this vision, we are making the following leadership changes:
Devices: Panos Panay will now serve as our Chief Product Officer and will lead our devices vision and further our product ethos across hardware and software boundaries for our first-party devices, while creating new categories and opportunities for the entire ecosystem. He will be the key leader ensuring end-to-end devices business execution excellence.
Windows: Joe Belfiore will continue leading our Windows experiences and will drive Windows innovation in partnership with the PC and device ecosystem. The future of Windows is bright as we continue to innovate across new scenarios and device form factors, and more deeply connect to our Microsoft 365 offerings. Joe will share more about the Windows roadmap at Build.
New Experiences and Technology: Kudo Tsunoda will continue to lead this team to define how we engage users with high-value experiences to help them achieve more.
Enterprise Mobility and Management: Brad Anderson will continue to lead our Windows Enterprise deployment and management efforts with even tighter alignment across Microsoft 365 and will partner closely with the EMS teams within Cloud + AI Platform.
Second, Scott Guthrie will expand his existing responsibilities to lead a new team focused on Cloud + AI Platform. The purpose of this team is to drive platform coherence and compelling value across all layers of the tech stack starting with the distributed computing fabric (cloud and edge) to AI (infrastructure, runtimes, frameworks, tools and higher-level services around perception, knowledge and cognition). To facilitate these new capabilities, we are making the following leadership changes:
Azure: Jason Zander is being promoted to executive vice president, Azure, and will lead this team. The Windows platform team led by Harv Bhela, Henry Sanders and Michael Fortin will join Jason’s team. Windows platform is already a core part of Azure across both the cloud and edge, and this shift will enable us to accelerate our efforts to build a unified distributed computing infrastructure and application model. Roanne Sones will continue to lead our technical engagement with OEMs, ODMs and silicon vendors, and her team will also join Jason’s team.
Business AI: The Customer Service, Marketing and Sales Insights teams, previously led by Gurdeep Singh Pall, will join James Phillips’ Business Applications Group. I am thankful for Gurdeep’s leadership in building these new AI solutions that are going to help differentiate Microsoft in this area. This is a notable example of taking research breakthroughs to start new product efforts grounded in customer needs and then mainstreaming them.
Universal Store and Commerce Platform: Eric Lockard and his team will also join the Cloud + AI Platform team to both help with our own digital transformation and add new capabilities to our business application efforts.
AI Perception & Mixed Reality (MR): Alex Kipman will lead this new team, which brings together all our speech, vision, MR and additional perception capabilities into one team. This team will continue to build first-party products and the core building block cloud services for third parties on Azure. XD Huang, Yu-Ting Kuo and their teams will join this group, as well as Gurdeep’s Ambient Intelligence team. Alex and team will take guidance on all AI-related areas from Harry Shum and work very closely with AI + Research (AI+R).
AI Cognitive Services & Platform: Eric Boyd will lead this new team and drive our AI Platform, AI Fundamentals, Azure ML, AI Tools and Cognitive Services. Joseph Sirosh and team will join this new group. Eric and team will take guidance on all AI-related areas from Harry Shum and work very closely with AI+R.
Harry Shum will continue to lead our third engineering team, AI + Research, which is instrumental in the key technology advances required across all our product teams. When we established AI+R nearly two years ago, our primary goal was to accelerate the adoption of AI innovations from research into product, and the changes we are making today reflect our strong progress. In fact, just yesterday I spent time at TechFest and came away inspired by all the innovations and most importantly how quickly they were making their way into our products. We will continue to drive investments in AI+R across research and AI breakthroughs that are key to our long-term success.
As we make technological progress we need to ensure that we are doing so responsibly. To this end, Harry and Brad Smith have established Microsoft’s AI and Ethics in Engineering and Research (AETHER) Committee, bringing together senior leaders from across the company to focus on proactive formulation of internal policies and how to respond to specific issues in a responsible way. AETHER will ensure our AI platform and experience efforts are deeply grounded within Microsoft’s core values and principles and benefit the broader society. Among other steps, we are investing in strategies and tools for detecting and addressing bias in AI systems and implementing new requirements established by the GDPR. While there is great opportunity, ensuring we always act responsibly for our customers and partners will continue to be a hallmark of our work.
To truly get the best impact from our efforts, we will have to push ourselves to transcend Conway’s law. Having a deep sense of customers’ unmet and unarticulated needs must drive our innovation. We can’t let any organizational boundaries get in the way of innovation for our customers. This is why a growth mindset culture matters. Each one of us needs to push on what technology can do for people and for our world. It will take courage to keep learning and growing together – encouraging one another’s individual strengths, building more diversity and inclusion across our teams, and collaborating as One Microsoft. It’s amazing what we have been able to accomplish together, and yet I still believe we are in the very early days of what is possible.
We’ll talk more about these changes at the Q&A next week and the important work ahead.
Here’s Myerson’s memo to employees:
It is an emotional day for me as I look toward starting my next chapter outside of Microsoft in a few months. We’ve been discussing this for some time, but today it becomes real.
Satya’s leadership and insight in defining a Microsoft 365 experience, built on top of an intelligent edge/intelligent cloud platform is inspiring. I believe in it, and that these changes are great for Microsoft. Change can be invigorating for us all and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to work with Satya on helping define this new structure. I will be around as we work through this transition, and then I will continue to root on Satya and this team every day.
Microsoft has been my work, my team, and my purpose for 21 years. Over the years I have worked with so many of you to take on big challenges and serve our customers. I’ve learned so much. We’ve accomplished so much together. And I have had so much fun. Your passion, commitment, and sheer brilliance has kept me inspired. You have taught me new ways of looking at the world. You made me a better leader. And together, we have delivered products that positively changed the way people work and live. I am grateful for each of you.
Most recently, with Windows 10 we set out to restore the trust of our consumer and business users and set Windows up to be a key part of the new Microsoft. With us now approaching 700M active Windows 10 users, commercial usage growing 84% YOY, Xbox One running a Windows 10 core, Surface innovation highlighting the Microsoft 365 experience, HoloLens bringing breakthroughs in computer vision, a universal store enabling GamePass, Azure reserved instances, and Office distribution, and a revitalized partner ecosystem – we’ve made incredible progress, and set the foundation for a new chapter to begin.
But it’s time for me to take a break, and then look forward to my own next chapter. I’m excited to see what’s next professionally. In the meantime, I can’t wait to spend quality time with my family and pursue a few big life goals.
While today I have many emotions, I’m mostly filled with gratitude and optimism – gratitude for the experiences I have had and optimism for the future ahead.
Sincerely, thank you for all the incredible experiences we’ve had together.