Satya Nadell again rearranges the deck chairs, 4 senior Microsoft executives out, including Stephen Elop

“Four senior Microsoft executives, including Stephen Elop and Mark Penn, will leave the technology company in the biggest organizational shake-up yet under Satya Nadella, its chief executive,” Nick Wingfield reports for The New York Times.

“In an email sent to Microsoft employees on Wednesday morning, Mr. Nadella said that three of the departures were related to his decision to organize the company’s engineering efforts into fewer groups,” Wingfield reports. “The three executives leaving as a result are Mr. Elop, former chief executive of Nokia, who has been leading Microsoft’s devices group; Eric Rudder, leader of its advanced technology and education efforts; and Kirill Tatarinov, head of its business solutions group.”

“Mr. Nadella said that Mr. Penn, Microsoft’s chief strategy officer, informed him several months ago that he planned to leave the company in September to form a private equity fund, among other pursuits,” Wingfield reports. “While Mr. Penn has worked for Microsoft for a number of years, he is best known as a former campaign strategist for Hillary and Bill Clinton.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Captain Satya Nadella
Captain Satya Nadella

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dale E.” for the heads up.]


Microsoft CEO Nadella says women shouldn’t ask for pay raises – October 10, 2014
Microsoft CEO Nadella begins rearranging the deck chairs – March 3, 2014
Satya Nadella? Seriously, Microsoft? – January 31, 2014


    1. Actually I see this as a smart move. Fewer departments means fewer initiatives, greater focus and much more collaboration, leading to greater interoperability, faster development at a lower cost.

      The next thing we are going to read out of Redmond will be about a reduction in engineering staff.

      This is what Ballmer should have done 15 years ago.

    1. I assume you mean:

      Why the frak is MS Office still the default? For 90% of the populace, if a file or program isn’t an Office product, they freak out like it’s the plague. Drives me crazy.


    1. I went to high school with Mr Elop; he and his brother were super f-ing brainiacs, and were actually respected as such, not picked on as nerds (even though it was a pretty “jock-y” school).

      But as is so often the case, guys like this miss the bigger picture, have little or no vision, and don’t really “get it”. He’s the guy who laid off 12,000 people with a memo that began with a fake-cheery “Hello there.”

      But he made out like a bandit and I’m sure doesn’t give a rat’s ass. And this is the problem–big business rewards people like like so handsomely for failing so spectacularly.

  1. A sure sign of a company in decline is constant reshuffling in the executive suite with the hope that one of the reorganizations will bring the company back to its days of glory. Unfortunately for MS, the glory days are long gone.

    1. Actually, a sure sign of a Microsoft advance would be an entire voiding of the executive suites. I hate to think there’s any hope for this behemoth, but this is a step in the right direction.

  2. Until Nadella gets rid of Microsoft’s “stack ranking” system which pits employees and divisions against each other in constant competition to not be “on the bottom”, nothing at Microsoft’s toxic culture will change.

  3. Classic pointy-haired boss management technique–when you don’t have a real strategy or compelling products, do a reorg to at least give the appearance of creative activity and/or hide underperforming divisions or products. MS loves this stuff:

    In 2002, Microsoft unveiled a new corporate structure that gave more independence to the managers of the company’s half-dozen-or-so business units.
    In 2005, Microsoft reversed course, consolidating its seven divisions into three — platform products and services, business, and entertainment and devices.
    A year later, it completely rethought the products and services organization in light of the Windows Vista debacle.
    In 2007, Microsoft changed up its Windows business structure yet again and made the server and tools business separate from the products and services division.
    In 2008, the company did even more retooling of its products and services unit, splitting it into two divisions: Windows and online services.
    In 2010, the company changed up its entertainment and devices management structure.
    And last year, Microsoft shuffled its marketing business.
    If reorganizations sound like they’re part of Microsoft’s culture, that’s because they have been for decades.
    “We changed the structure of the company,” announced then-CEO Bill Gates in a 1996 post on Microsoft’s website. “I’m sure we’ll change it again many times. Reorganizations are expected around Microsoft.”
    Gates noted that the company had undertaken a major reorganization every two years up to that point.

    1. When a stock is not performing, the board turns to the CEO and asks, what are you going to do about it?

      He/She can either change the underperforming products into something popular and come up with new ones that are well designed and people want . . . or they can reorganize the management structure.
      Re-orgs show the board that they are doing something.

  4. Elop, what a fscking tool that guy is. Thought nothing of striking a line through thousands of employees names in an effort to drive the Nokia share price down.

    I don’t wish horrific terminal cancer on anyone, but for this scumbag I’ll make a special exception.

  5. Mark Penn, best known as “a former campaign strategist for Hillary and Bill Clinton.” That means he had extensive experience counseling liars and rapists. Why is he leaving?

  6. I would not dismiss MSFT under Nadella’s leadership.

    MSFT’s cash cows (Windows and Office) are not under serious attack, and even if a credible competitor were to emerge, unseating MSFT from the corporate world would be a monumental, time consuming task.

    Ergo, MSFT has the resources today, and will continue to generate new resources for a long time, most likely more time than needed to cast off the effects of Ballmer’s tenure.

    Personally I like Nadella’s moves thus far.

    1. Most Macs operate Windows as well. MS isn’t going anywhere as long as Apple continues to do nothing to displace core MS products and Apple continues to ignore their business customers.

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