Microsoft reorgs its cloud business, creates new Strategic Missions and Technologies team

Microsoft's new Strategic Missions and Technologies team, headed by Jason Zander, will group Microsoft's evolving Federal, Azure Space, telco, and quantum computing businesses.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft's Cloud + AI business is reorganizing, and current Executive Vice President of Azure, Jason Zander, is taking on a newly created team called Strategic Missions and Technologies (SMT). Zander will be reporting in his new role directly to CEO Satya Nadella, with the mission of accelerating several of Microsoft's key emerging businesses, according to internal Microsoft emails announcing the latest changes on November 17.

The new SMT team will group Microsoft's U.S Federal business, Azure Space & Mission Engineering, Azure for Operators (its telco-focused business); and Azure Quantum. According to Zander's email to the team, "The common bond shared by the teams in this new division is next generation opportunity -- opportunity that is so profound in potential impact that each area deserves dedicated focus to grow."

Zander has been with Microsoft for close to 30 years and has been Executive Vice President of Azure since 2018 and Corporate Vice President of Azure for nine years before that. He also previously served as Corporate Vice President of the Visual Studio Engineering team. He currently is a member of the Microsoft Senior Leadership Team that works directly with Nadella.

No single new person is replacing Zander. Instead, according to internal emails, Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of Cloud + AI, is creating a new team structure as a result of Zander's move. The Azure Core Team, responsible for core apps and infrastructure, will continue to be led by Girish Bablani. The Azure Dedicated Team, led by Eric Lockard, will move to the Azure Core Team. The Azure Global Infrastructure team will move to b part of the Azure Core team.

Another piece of today's reorg: There's a new Cloud for Industry and Global Expansion team that will be led by Corey Sanders. Sanders will own Microsoft's vertical cloud platforms all up and will be charged with recruiting industry ISVs to build on top of the entire Microsoft Cloud. The Industry Cloud unit will be moving from the Digital Transformation Platform Group to Sanders, and Sanders will be reporting to Guthrie.

Guthrie will get some other new direct reports, as well, as part of the moves announced today. Rani Borkar, the head of Azure Hardware Systems & Infrastructure, will move to Guthrie's leadership team. Billy Anders, who heads the Azure CXP team, will also join Guthrie's leadership team. The Azure Edge + Platform Team will be headed by Doug Phillips. Phillips will join Guthrie's leadership team and report directly to him.

Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich will continue to lead the Azure Office of the CTO team and will join Guthrie's leadership team and report to him directly. And Technical Fellow Henry Sanders will continue as CTO of the Azure Edge + Platform team, reporting to Guthrie and joining Guthrie's leadership team.

Earlier this fall, Microsoft moved a number of its Cloud + AI teams under Charlie Bell, who Microsoft hired from AWS to head a new Security, Compliance, Identity, and Management organization.

All of the changes announced today are effective immediately, the emails stated.

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