Windows chief Myerson out in Microsoft reorganization

Microsoft's latest company reorg includes some major changes to its Windows and Devices organization, including the departure of its current leader, Terry Myerson.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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Microsoft is reorganizing yet again, as it does almost every year.


But this isn't just any ordinary reorg, especially for a company that not so long ago was putting almost all its eggs in the Windows basket. Today's plan, which CEO Satya Nadella disclosed to Microsoft employees on the morning of March 29, includes some huge changes to the Windows organization.

Terry Myerson, who has headed up Microsoft's Windows business since 2013, is leaving the company. Myerson is "pursu(ing) his next chapter outside Microsoft," said Nadella in his email to the troops. He will stay at Microsoft for a few months to help with the transition, officials said today.

Microsoft is carving up Myerson's Windows and Devices Group (WDG), moving some pieces of it into one of two new engineering units announced this morning. Some parts of WDG will move under Executive Vice President Rajesh Jha, who is in charge of the new Experiences & Devices org; other components will go to Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie, who is running the newly minted Cloud + AI Platform. Harry Shum, executive vice president of AI & Research, will continue to head up that somewhat streamlined organization, which Microsoft created in 2016.

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Microsoft currently is structured around a handful of key teams: WDG, Office, Cloud and Enterprise, AI + Research, and Gaming. Today's shakeup affects all these, though gaming basically will remain its own entity. LinkedIn, which also largely operates on its own, is not affected.

In describing today's reorg, Nadella said the moves are part of Microsoft's goal to focus on the "intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge," which has become Microsoft's new rallying cry.

In his email to all Microsoft employees, Nadella told employees that they will all "have to push ourselves to transcend Conway's law." Conway's law, named after computer programmer Melvin Conway, states "any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communications structure."

Myerson joined Microsoft in 1997, when Microsoft bought his company, Interse. During his tenure, he led the Exchange team. After running the Windows Phone business, he was appointed in 2013 as head of the unified Windows team, and later of the WDG, which included Windows, Surface, Xbox, Windows Server, and HoloLens. He's been a member of Microsoft's Senior Leadership Team for the past several years.

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Jha has been with Microsoft since 1990. Since 2006, he has been heading up the development and engineering teams for Office and later, Office 365. He also is a member of Microsoft's inner management circle, its Senior Leadership team. Guthrie, also a Senior Leadership team member, has been with Microsoft since 1997 and has led many Microsoft enterprise software, tools, and cloud teams over the course of his tenure.

Update: For more details on today's reorg, check out the hows and whys here.

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