Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella officially confirmed the departure of two top execs in an open memo today.
Tony Bates, EVP of development and evangelism, and Tami Reller, EVP of marketing, are out.
One line in Nadella’s memo sticks out in particular. Emphasis ours:
One of my consistent themes has been a point I made in my original mail — we all need to do our best work, have broad impact and find real meaning in the work we do. Coming together as teams fuels this on a day-to-day basis. And having the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) set both pace and example means a lot to me.
I have discussed this point in various forms with the SLT and have asked for their “all in” commitment as we embark on the next chapter for the company. We need to drive clarity, alignment and intensity across all our work. With that as a backdrop, I want to share a set of changes to the leadership team.
So, does that mean Bates and Reller weren’t “all in”?
According to a source familiar with the situation, Bates decided to leave because he wanted to be the CEO of a company. He was one of the candidates for the job at Microsoft, but Nadella got the gig instead. It’s likely Bates will try to become the CEO of another tech company. (Re/code’s Kara Swisher reported Sunday night that Bates may head to GoPro.)
In his memo, Nadella also said he wanted one person to run all marketing for the company. He chose Chris Caposella. According to our source, Reller was given the opportunity to find another role within Microsoft, but ultimately decided to leave. She’ll stick around for a few months to help Caposella transition into his new role.
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