As the Microsoft org chart turns

Here are some of the other under-the-radar Microsoft org changes that happened in the past week or so -- and what might be behind them.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

While all eyes this past week were on the imminent depatures of two of Microsoft's highest profile execs in the company's soon-to-be-disbanded Entertainment and Devices unit, Microsoft execs were making some other much quieter tweaks to the company's org chart.

I mentioned a few of these Microsoft org changes earlier this week. But here are some of the other under-the-radar changes that happened in the past week or so -- and what might be behind them.

Management chief Brad Anderson is now Corporate Vice President in charge of "management and security." Until yesterday, he was listed as Corporate Vice President in charge of "management and services."

Microsoft doesn't seem to have gotten around to changing Anderson's bio; he is still listed as overseeing System Center, Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), Windows Update/Microsoft Update, management infrastructure components in Windows Client and Windows Server, and delivering Software + Services as System Center Online Desktop Manager (which is now known as Windows Intune). What are the "security" products he is overseeing? (The delay-plagued Forefront enterprise security products?)

Update: Looks like at least part of Forefront is, indeed, moving to Anderson's arena. From the Microsoft STB News Bytes blog:

"As part of STB’s (Server and Tools business') strategy to align future Windows endpoint security and systems management engineering, the Forefront endpoint protection development team will join the System Center development team within STB’s Management and Services Division, which is led by Brad Anderson. The endpoint protection development team is lead by general managers Amnon Horowitz and Vinny Gullotto. These development teams have worked on endpoint protection and client security solutions for several years [see May 2007 news release]. More recently, the teams are working on the integration of Forefront Endpoint Protection and System Center Configuration Manager."

I'd think at least some of Anderson's currently listed responsibilities -- particularly Windows Update -- would be part of the domain of Windows' newly minted Senior Vice President of Windows Web Services Antoine Leblond. Microsoft isn't talking particulars about Leblond's new role (so far).

Eduardo Rosini is now a middleware guy. Until this week, Rosini was Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners Group (SMS&P). But as of May 27 he is listed as Corporate Vice President of the Business Platform Marketing Group. The Business Platform Marketing team "drives marketing and strategy for the SQL Server business, middleware, and data modeling tools for the information platform." Ted Kummert is still listed as the Senior Vice President of BUsiness Platforms.

The new Rosini is Vahé Torossian. He is the just-named Corporate VP of Worldwide Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners. An 18-year Microsoft veteran, Torossian was most recently the vice president of Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) overseeing Microsoft's operations in Central and Eastern Europe.

By the way, if you're looking for one of the biggest revolving doors at Microsoft, the SMB market segment is it. Microsoft has churned through numerous Vice Presidents in this space over the past few years. This is a key market segment for the company, but no one seems to be able to figure out how to crack it. Microsoft's decision to dump a number of its SMB-focused products hasn't helped matters any, I'm sure.

Another one-time Senior Vice President of Small and Midmarket Solutions, Orlando Ayala, just got a puzzling title change this week. Ayala seemingly took a step down (moving from the higher Senior Vice President title back to a Corporate VP one). But he added two new elements to his responsibilities: Ayala is now listed as Chairman of Emerging Markets, as well as "Chief Advisor" to Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner.

I was most curious about Ayala's new "Chairman" title, as it seems odd that a Microsoft team would have a chairman. I asked about his title change and was told via a spokesperson that Microsoft "had no additional information to share."

I also found it odd that Microsoft had expunged all references to the Unlimited Potential unit from Ayala's new bio. I went back and checked: Microsoft has cut all references to UP from all the execs who worked there.

Before he led "Emerging Markets" Ayala was the co-leader of UP, which ws charged with "clos(ing) the digital divide by creating new products and programs that will help bring social and economic opportunity to the estimated 5 billion people not yet realizing the benefits of technology." There's still a UP Web site (and Microsoft just added new blog posts to it last week.) But for all intents and purposes, it looks like UP was effectively and quietly dismantled a couple of years ago, and what's left of its mandate has been incorporated into Microsoft's Citizenship unit.

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