Microsoft appoints a Chief Technology Officer for Server & Tools

Here's my latest attempt to read the tea leaves about some recent Microsoft organizational moves.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft's corporate structure is a morphing maze, as those of us who attempt to track it know all too well.


The latest zig-zag worth a mention is the company's appointment of a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for its Server & Tools business. Dave Campbell, a Microsoft Technical Fellow (whom I profiled a while back here), apparently now has that title, according to contacts of mine who asked not to be named. Campbell is believed to be reporting directly to Server & Tools President Satya Nadella in his new role.

Just about all -- if not all -- of Microsoft's five business units are currently organized along "functional" lines, meaning there is a Corporate Vice President (CVP) of Development, Program Management and Test reporting to a central unit chief for key product lines, such as Windows, Windows Azure, SQL Server, etc. Until recently, Campbell was the CVP of development for SQL Server.


Likely replacing Campbell in his SQL-focused dev role is a former SAP Executive Vice President T.K. Rengarajan, who is now a Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, as his LinkedIn profile notes. Rengarajan's most recent title at SAP was EVP of Intellectual Renewal. But, like Campbell, Rengarajan's roots go back to Digital Equipment Corp. and its Rdb database team. 

I asked Microsoft officials for more about the Campbell and Rengarajan moves and didn't hear back.

There are a few reasons the Campbell CTO appointment is noteworthy.

First, the other Microsoft business units don't currently have CTOs, as far as I know. There is an uber-CTO (Chief Technical Officer, in this case): Eric Rudder. Rudder is in charge of Microsoft Research, Trustworthy Computing and the company's Technology Policy Group as of December 2012. The Entertainment & Devices division used to have a CTO, J Allard, but I don't believe anyone has had that title since Allard left Microsoft in 2010.

Secondly, Campbell's new job may be yet another piece of evidence that Microsoft -- in the midst of reimagining itself as a devices and services company -- may be set to launch an organizational makeover.

Right now, two of Microsoft's five business groups are missing their chief financial officers, and there's no word on plans to fill their roles.

Amy Hood was tapped to become Microsoft's corporate CFO, with no replacement named as the new CFO of Microsoft's Business Division. Meanwhile, Mindy Mount, the CFO of Microsoft's Online Services Division, recently joined Jawbone as President. Microsoft officials have not responded to requests about plans to replace Mount. Since 2003, Microsoft has made a CFO for each of its business units part of its management hierarchy.

Microsoft's current fiscal year ends on June 30. I'm wondering if the company is set to split along the devices and services fault lines some time right around that... If so, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft continues to rely on its functional management structure if and when this long-rumored sweeping reorg happens.

Editorial standards