Microsoft's OneDrive, SharePoint chief to take on a new role

Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of its combined OneDrive and SharePoint team, Chris Jones, is moving to a new role inside the company's Applications and Services Group later this year.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft veteran Chris Jones, the current head of the OneDrive and SharePoint businesses at the company, will be transitioning to a new job in Microsoft's Applications and Services Group (ASG) later this year.

Jones, who has been at Microsoft since 1991, will be passing the Corporate Vice President torch to Phil Smoot, another Microsoft veteran who has worked on the Hotmail and Azure Storage businesses. Smoot most recently has been the Vice President of Engineering for the combined OneDrive/SharePoint team.

After taking time off this summer, Jones will return to the ASG team in a role yet to be publicly shared, sources said.

Before moving to head up OneDrive and SharePoint -- one of the four recently combined Microsoft services hubs in Executive Vice President Qi Lu's ASG -- Jones led Microsoft's OS services team, which included user experiences and critical infrastructure - such as Microsoft account - that support all Microsoft devices. Before that, he led engineering for Windows Live software and services, and was a vice president in both program management and engineering in the Windows division.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the changing of the guard with the following statement: "Chris Jones will be shifting to a new role on Qi (Lu)'s team in the coming months. As he makes that transition, Phil Smoot, a long time Microsoft veteran, will take over leadership of the OneDrive and Sharepoint teams."

The unified OneDrive/SharePoint team has been making a number of updates to Microsoft's OneDrive consumer and OneDrive for Business services, attempting to bring them into tighter alignment. Microsoft outlined its one-year roadmap for OneDrive earlier this year.

On the SharePoint side of the house, there's still no public test build of SharePoint 2016 (either the online service or the on-premises server due in the second half of calendar 2015) -- or the next version of Exchange, either. Microsoft's Ignite conference in early May seems like it could be the venue for more show and tell about the next releases of these two products.

Microsoft did recently release a public preview of Skype for Business, a k a Lync, in mid-March. Execs have said Skype for Business will be generally available starting in April 2015.

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