Report: Microsoft Unveiling Shakeup Plan This Week

Dennis Faas's picture

A new report suggests Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer will introduce major restructuring plans as early as this week. It's expected the reorganization scheme will involve giving some of the company's core units more independence.

The report, which comes from The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD technology blog, says Ballmer could unveil the restructuring plans in a meeting with company leaders this Thursday, July 11, 2013.

Rumors of an impending Microsoft restructuring have been buzzing for some time. It's likely this upcoming announcement is designed to give investors a boost of confidence one week before the firm reveals its quarterly earnings.

Motivating the changes: a) Windows 8's early troubles, b) the termination of Windows chief Steven Sinofsky last fall (shortly after Windows 8's launch), and c) the recent departure of Xbox division head, Don Mattrick.

Extent of Changes Remains Unknown

Some experts believe the restructuring plan will be drastic, meaning changes could involve the elimination of major divisions or critical members of the Microsoft management team.

Of course, experts say it's also possible Ballmer's plan will simply involve the realigning of certain divisions.

In recent years Microsoft has grown to include a wide variety of products and services, from the Xbox video game console to cloud storage service SkyDrive to the Office software suite.

The firm has been sometimes criticized for not organizing these divisions in a clear and coherent way.

"Functional Coherence" the Goal

Making each of these products successful means clearly grouping them in sensibly designed divisions.

AllThingsD says that, whatever the plan includes, the company's goal is "functional coherence". (Source:

Restructuring could certainly benefit Microsoft, though some experts are warning that such schemes aren't guaranteed to work.

"An unwanted byproduct can always be that enterprise customers and employees interpret these shakeups as signs that the vendor is in crisis and rudderless," said PC World's Juan Carlos Perez. (Source:

"Customers then begin to second-guess their decisions to invest in the vendor's products, while employee morale dips and staff turnover increases."

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