Ballmer Overhauls Microsoft with Restructuring Plan

Dennis Faas's picture

On Thursday Microsoft unveiled its long-rumored restructuring plan, which will involve breaking Microsoft divisions into two major categories: devices and services. The restructuring plan also involves giving additional powers to a short list of talented managers.

"Going forward, our strategy will focus on creating a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses that empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value most," noted Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer in his announcement about the plan.

The overarching theme of Ballmer's plan is to turn Microsoft into a "devices and services" company. This means grouping the Xbox video game console and Surface tablet computer on one hand, and services like Office, Windows, and SkyDrive on the other.

New Roles for Microsoft's Management Team

The restructuring also means Ballmer will surround himself with a select few powerful 'generals'. (Source:

Julie Larson-Green -- who just joined the firm following the exit of Steven Sinofsky last fall -- will now run the company's devices and studios, including entertainment and games.

It's a clear sign that Microsoft's upper management team is impressed with Larson-Green, who until recently was overseeing the development of both Windows and the Xbox.

Terry Myerson, who previously ran Microsoft's Windows Phone division, has been tapped to run Microsoft's operating systems group. This means Myerson will take control of how Microsoft customers use the software installed on devices like PCs, the Xbox, and the Surface tablet PC.

Qi Lu will now take charge of Microsoft's app service, including its new-ish Windows Store. Lu will also be responsible for both Bing and social networking app Yammer, which Microsoft acquired for more than $1 billion.

Satya Nadella, who used to run Microsoft's servers and tools, will take over the firm's cloud and enterprise division. This means Nadella will be Ballmer's go-to guy when it comes to all things business.

Finally, Tami Reller -- who joined forces with Larson-Green to fill the big shoes vacated by Sinofsky last year -- has been tapped as Microsoft's "marketing group" manager.

New Structure, Better Company?

Ballmer says he believes the new structure -- which primarily involves fewer managers wielding more power -- will allow the company to more easily share ideas and technology across its divisions.

The firm's CEO believes this will make Microsoft more decisive, meaning it will be better prepared to respond to shifts in the rapidly evolving technology market. (Source:

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