Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

Summary: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has handed off the Office, mobile and gaming businesses to three presidents and has decided to make the gaming and mobile units separate entities.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Microsoft
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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has handed off the Office, mobile and gaming businesses to three presidents and has decided to make the gaming and mobile units separate entities.

Microsoft announced the executive changes and appointments on October 1, and posted Ballmer's e-mail to the company's employees covering the moves.

Those who had been expecting Windows President Steven Sinofsky to get the Mobile Communications Business -- as has been rumored for months -- will be disappointed or relieved (depending on your perspective). Ballmer named Andy Lees the new President of the Mobile Communications Business.

Ballmer named Don Matrick President of the Interactive Entertainment Business. Up until the resignation of President Robbie Bach, Microsoft had combined the mobile and gaming businesses into the Entertainment and Devices Division under Bach. Ballmer had been running the Entertainment and Devices division himself, with Matrick and Lees reporting directly to him, since earlier this summer.

Ballmer also named Kurt DelBene the new President of the Microsoft Business Division, the group that has included Office, SharePoint and the Microsoft ERP and CRM apps. DelBene takes the place of Steven Elop, who recently left Microsoft to run Nokia. However, somewhat curiously, DelBene is not going to run the Microsoft Business Division under the new structure. Instead, Kirill Tatarinov will continue to run MBS and report directly to Ballmer, not DelBene. Ballmer also was running the Microsoft Business Division for a brief time before naming DelBene as the new chief.

As of today, there are now six Microsoft presidents: Lees, Mattrick, DelBene, Sinofsky, Server & Tools chief Bob Muglia and Online Services leader Qi Lu. There are only five P&L (profit and loss) centers that will report earnings, however, as Lees' and Mattricks' units will report in together when they announce their financials, the Softies said.

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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28 comments
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  • Yawn

    MS is late to the game..... again! Can these guys bring it back to leadership ? It will take years. Windows is exciting only to corporate IT types and even they have given in to people asking for Apple on the desktop, iOS and Android on the phone, iPad for mobile stuff.

    Who asks for anything MS anymore? CIO's I suppose.
    mlindl
    • RE: Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

      @mlindl
      Lurkers and haters, just shut the crap up if you don't know what you are saying. We see through you iDrone!
      eInfinity
      • Funny, don't want to debate him so you...

        @eInfinity... just tell him to shut up. Wow!
        Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
      • RE: Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

        @eInfinity Dunno about that (iDrone). I like various MS products but Ballmer is a moron. My 2 cents.
        betelgeuse68
    • Who ask for Microsoft anymore? I don't know but then again

      I don't see anybody really asking for Apple either.

      I have been asked about Windows 7 from alot of people, but nobody really asked (seriouslly or otherwise) about going with a Mac, so I guess they're both kind of boring.
      John Zern
      • Hmmmmm. I would not expect you to be open about

        @John Zern
        this kind of subject matter. Me I've watched MS over the years and I do mean years and yes MS does at times get caught with surprises like Netscape came out of nowhere and MS got caught with it's collective pants down. Still MS's huge advantage is it's OS and MS Office make MS so much money that MS can choke others like Netscape to death. Bundle your IE with every PC SOLD and even "IF" IE is not nearly as good as Netscape (Something that was true for several versions of IE until MS could catch up) and since Netscape counted on downloads from PC makers and it's own bundling with OEM's the loss of even a single user to IE was bad for Netscape but not a problem for MS cause it could depend on revenue from it's OS and MS Office. Same thing for MS products that made up MS Office MS Word was terrible for several generations compared to WordPerfect and yes even WordStar but again MS had income coming from it's OS and could afford to bundle the product with OEM's and choke off the competition which needed to actually sell their superior product to make money. Eventually after several generations of MS Word it actually caught up to Wordperfect and even eventually surpassed it. Same with Excel and Lotus etc.. etc. Still the point being MS was in my experience rarely on the cutting edge but always playing catch up.... Still with such a huge advantage out lasting MS was always a game one wanted to avoid, and might still be that is my only concern with Windows Phone 7.

        Now for Mac's over the past few years now Apple's US and World market share have grown I suspect even in your area so is it possible you've not heard of someone requesting or curious about a Macintosh I suppose so since the market share is still compared to MS rather small but hey it's growing. Also how old are you?

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • Late to the game...

      @mlindl That's fashionable phrase, but I agree. Microsoft is late on... lets see, netbook? cloud? SQL? VM? mobile? It goes long. I agree with you.
      jk_10
      • Because being first means everything, right?

        Linux was the first to the game on netbooks, and look what happened to them. I'm sure that means everyone is using a Linux netbook. Wait? MSFT owns the netbook market? I'm shocked, I truly am.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

      @mlindl ... well apparently 96% of the entire world is a CIO now, because that's the Microsoft market share for the Windows platform. Who knew that so many people were so well-versed in matters of IT, eh?
      GoodThings2Life
  • Looks like they are stabbing in the dark, not a clue of direction.

    NT.
    DonnieBoy
    • That would describe your posts to a tee.

      @DonnieBoy.

      You were talking about your posts there, right?
      John Zern
  • RE: Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

    The sign of a good CEO is when he knows when to reorganize to better position the company. That is exactly what Steve Ballmer did here. With Microsoft's focus being more and more on gaming and mobile it makes sense to make the new units. This will help keep the focus on the products and will continue to allow Microsoft to be the world leader in software.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

      @Loverock Davidson

      If they want to lead it mobile then they may want to lose him. He may leave after not getting half his bonus because of his shortcomings.
      maskman01
    • RE: Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

      @Loverock Davidson
      Microsoft's Ballmer Sees Bonus Sliced In Half
      The company's board cut CEO Steve Ballmer's bonus due to Microsoft's loss of mobile phone market share and failure to match Apple's iPad.

      Hooay!
      daikon
  • Gaming and Mobile separate

    I have to admit I am not an expert on MS, but I thought gaming was going to be the differentiator in W7 phones and help drive sales. Given the apparent historical infighting and turf wars between MS business units, I have to say I am scratching my head over this one. Anybody else?
    Economister
    • I just think that there should be a saying similar to

      @Economister
      "To many chef's ruin the soup" How about "To many presidents ruin the ?" Not sure what the last business term/phrase should be but I think "President" should be a one off title not several seems absurd and I'd hate to see MS's over all flow chart showing who has pull over whom. My president is higher on the chart than yours so I don't have to listen to you!!!

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
  • Wise choices

    While some may yawn at organization announcements like this, I think these are wise if not logical choices. I like Sinofsky, but I'm glad he didn't get control over Windows Phone. I think it benefits the company more if there is some competitive spirit between the Windows client and mobile product teams.
    USArcher
    • RE: Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

      @USArcher -No offense, but can you or anyone for that matter give me an example of where adding more layers of senior management has helped propel an organization to success? Competitive spirt by another name is political bickering, at least within organizations. I think this this is just shuffling the deck.
      msingh5649
      • RE: Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

        @msingh5649@... I want this guy for president!
        rkobzarev
      • RE: Microsoft's Ballmer names three new presidents; creates two new business units

        @msingh5649@... doh
        rkobzarev