Last week, Microsoft announced the first of the Satya Nadella era changes to the Senior Leadership Team, and news is filtering out of more changes to come as early as this week. With former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop set to come on board as soon as the Nokia acquisition deal closes, Julie Larson-Green is set to step down from her Executive Vice President of Devices and Services role, making way for Elop and moving to a new role as “Chief Experience Officer” under Applications and Services Engineering head Qi Lu.
According to Kara Swisher at Re/Code, both Tony Bates, former CEO of Skype and current EVP of Business Development and Evangelism, and Tami Reller, current EVP of Marketing, will be leaving the company. Reller has been in an “increasingly untenable” “face-off” with former political strategist and current EVP for Advertising and Strategy Mark Penn, according to Re/Code:
Reller’s departure was not unexpected, given she had been matched by Ballmer in a classic and problematic two-in-a-box face-off with Penn, a set-up that had become uncomfortable and, increasingly, untenable. As (Kara Swisher) wrote: “Reller took the job, of course, knowing the score, but apparently was focused on balancing Penn’s more aggressive tendencies.”
According to Re/Code, Penn will stay on the Senior Leadership Team, but under a new title of EVP for Strategy, with longtime Microsoft marketing exec Chris Capossela to take over the EVP of Advertising position, and another longtime ‘Softie, Eric Rudder, will take over the position vacated by Bates. In addition, reports Re/Code, Larson-Green will be stepping down from her Senior Leadership Team position.
The moves aren’t totally unexpected, as new CEO Nadella needed to find a place for Larson-Green with Elop coming back on board. Tony Bates became something of an odd man out when he was passed over for the CEO position, and again according to Re/Code, there was tension brewing between Reller and Mark Penn, the “mastermind”, if you can call it that, behind Microsoft’s recent “Scroogled” campaigns.
Kara Swisher is promising more news soon on Qi Lu and his “ascension in the Nadella regime”, so we’ll be staying tuned for that!