Microsoft Executive VP Julie Larson-Green moves from devices to services

Microsoft Executive VP Julie Larson-Green moves from devices to services

Summary: In seeming preparation for Microsoft's takeover of Nokia's handset business, the executive musical chairs recommences.


Microsoft's Julie Larson-Green, the Executive Vice President of Devices & Studios, has a new job inside Microsoft.


Larson-Green announced internally on February 24 her intentions to take on a new role reporting to Qi Lu, who is the Executive Vice President of Applications and Services.

Larson-Green was in line to report to Stephen Elop, the incoming head of Microsoft's Devices team once Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's devices business becomes final. Elop was one of the candidates to replace Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. But given he didn't get the job, he now is set to become the head of Microsoft's devices business.

For the past seven months -- since Microsoft management reorganized the company last summer -- 20-year Microsoft veteran Larson-Green had led the Devices and Studios group with responsibility for all hardware development including Xbox, Surface and accessories. She also oversaw Microsoft Studios, which "include(d) development of games, entertainment and premium content experiences for all devices across the company."

Larson-Green will take on her new role once Elop officially rejoins Microsoft, which is set to happen once the Microsoft acquisition of Nokia's handset business officially closes. That's still slated to happen in this calendar quarter, Microsoft execs have said. Until then, she remains in her current role.

Larson-Green's new title is Chief Experience Officer (CXO) of the "My Life & Work" team in Lu's Applications and Services Group (ASG). As far as I know, she is currently the only CXO at Microsoft.

What does that title mean? I hear she'll be overseeing the unification of experiences across different services, including Skype, Bing and OneDrive. Given her design focus during her time at Microsoft, that new job makes sense.

Here's Larson-Green's memo to the Microsoft troops about her new job:

Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014
Subject: FW: ASG Organizational Announcement


As you will read in the notes below from Qi and Satya, I’ve accepted a new challenge, leading the My Life & Work team in ASG and serving as the Chief Experience Officer (CXO). As hard as it is for me to leave Devices & Studios, I’m thrilled about this opportunity. In working with company leaders this year to establish our One Microsoft vision and plan, I thought about ways I could have impact on helping Microsoft prepare for the future and innovate. My discussions with Satya and Qi made clear this is a critical space to drive new thinking and an essential way to help the shape the company’s direction. I’m looking forward to developing the Digital Life & Digital Work Experience Substrate that powers modern digital experiences regardless of device, as well as working across ASG to strengthen customer experiences.

I want to thank each and every one of you for welcoming me and supporting me as the leader of Devices & Studios over the past 7 months. I’m very proud of what we have accomplished during such a short timeframe. We launched Xbox One, Surface 2 & Pro 2, blockbuster games like Forza and Ryse, a brand new Xbox Music and Video service, PPI, and some amazing unannounced innovations just to name a few – incredibly impressive!

Our opportunity to grow as a world-class devices and experiences company is greater than ever, and I have every belief that as One Microsoft we’re on the right path. The addition of Nokia Devices & Services into the DnS family will add tremendous scale, talent and opportunity for our future.

I’ll remain in role leading the DnS organization in the interim until the Nokia deal closes and Stephen Elop makes his transition to Microsoft. We’ve been meeting regularly throughout and are making a lot of progress, ensuring our teams are ready for the Day 1 close and beyond.

You are all in great hands with Stephen and already we’ve shared a lot with him and his LT from Nokia regarding all of the fantastic people, teams and products in DnS. I also know many of you are looking forward to welcoming the Nokia team and working more closely with them.

As I look to the future, I’m reminded of a favorite Chinese proverb: "To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”

I encourage you all to stay focused on the journey and opportunities ahead, and know that I’ll be there in step with you as we launch the next chapter of Microsoft...

Thank you,


Larson-Green reported to former Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky during his tenure both as Windows and Office chief.

Topics: Cloud, Microsoft, Tablets, PCs, Windows 8


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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  • bit of a demotion

    She goes from CEO report to reporting to another VP. Hope she gets another shot at the top floor.
    • gone with the wind

      she touched windows 8. heck she is the windows 8 UX, the most hated piece of UX on earth. she is suited to...basically retirement.
      • Except she is now in charge of Experiences

        So, the "most hated piece of UX" creator is in charge of UX across services.
    • Demotion

      Nadella should boot her from the company as quickly as possible. Like Sinofsky, she's done more harm to Microsoft with the whole Windows 8 experience debacle. Folks like this don't deserve a second chance.
      Key Lime
      • agree 100%

        She should be managed out as well as anyone else who was in a leadership role in the windows group during that time.
    • The queen of Metro and the ribbon

      She will now be given overarching control of UX design. Expect even more creative innovation than ever.
  • from windows 8 to this?

    looking forward (not) to her work. windows 8 is nearly universally hated for its UX which has its roots on this person.

    what's with MSFT? Joe Belfiore, the guy responsible for the WP train disaster gets given more responsibility. His boss, Mayerson who can't ship on time also. Now this girl? IMO anybody who was an executive for WP or win8 should be looking for a job. They shipped a train wreck OS after another.
    • Meyerson

      ...he need a to go!
      • YES!!!!

        And Joe Belfiore: 3 years running windows phone and has yet to beat windows mobile marketshare wise. how many guys wouldn't kill for the chance he had. and all he did was waste 3 years. and now he's doing some gig with windows and IE? boy.
        • Panos Too

          And don't forget Panos, the Surface dude. Time for Microsoft to clean house!
          Key Lime
          • Make stuff we don't like

            This appears to be the formula for success in Redmond. Almost as if it were a deliberate policy.
          • total +1 to this

            Why the hell can't that dude create a piece of hardware that doesn't suck. Its too wide, too heavy and WTF with that two position kickstand? I STILL can't use it on my lap.

            I mean, really, WTF!!!! the F'ing iPad has a stupid cover that folds back so I can use it on my lap. Is the Surface hardware team so stupid that they didn't test for that scenario?

            So Stupid I swear. Fire the entire lot of them.
    • JLG provides employment

      She's the best thing that ever happened to software developers who make a living off making her designs usable. When she forced people to use the MS Office ribbon and toolbar new companies sprouted up to provide classic menus and tools. When she took away the start menu with windows 8, developers answered the call.
      • so true.

        this has to have been the best comment I've ever read on JLG...ever.
        • That MSFT'ies consider the Ribbon compulsion a success

          speaks oodles of the problems they have there with UI. That JLG is still given positions of higher echelon responsibilities just adds to it.

          MJF- how is it the JLG has survived at MSFT despite her association with Mr Sinofsky?
    • Meyerson is making up for Sinofsky

      Mr Sinofsky didn't just damage Windows, he caused quite a bit of collateral damage to WP. Getting WP into total shape is a super major undertaking and they really need to get it correct, -all- the way down to the core and out to the Store. Much better to chuck out the 'put out half baked releases' and get the dang thing correct. Especially to make things "right" for developers.
  • Sinofsky

    Bingo! More than anybody else, Sinofsky is to blame for the Windows 8 disaster. Every decision he made has turned out to be a mistake.
    Honeyboy Wilson
  • Just Take the hint and just leave

    And take Joe B, Myson, Santos along with you.

    Satya, you need to show some balls, and clean sweep this bunch of lacklustre performers. Get some real talent into Microsoft.
  • Sounds like a good move for Microsoft

    As it sounds like a good position for her, a more technical position for her more technical prowess.

    I don't get the hate for her. The UX design of Windows 8 isn't the real issue, the merger between old and new is clunky (but much improved in 8.1), and the Office Ribbon was a great improvement. Once you get used to the new style, it is so much easier than the previous versions.