Microsoft CEO Nadella reshuffles senior ranks

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Microsoft CEO Nadella reshuffles senior ranks

New cloud boss.

Microsoft today named three executives to its cloud, devices and Xbox gaming divisions in one of new CEO Satya Nadella's first management shakeups.

The world's largest software maker promoted Scott Guthrie to head of the cloud and enterprise group, the US$20 billion division that Nadella helmed before replacing Steve Ballmer as CEO in February.

"Scott has been a very public and passionate evangelist for many of our most important developer and infrastructure businesses," Nadella said in a statement.

"Since joining Microsoft in 1997, he has made critical contributions to .NET and other pivotal technologies that help power the Microsoft ecosystem today, and most recently has been the driver behind the unprecedented growth of Microsoft Azure."

Former Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop - at one time considered a candidate to replace Ballmer - will join Microsoft as executive vice president of the devices group, reporting to Nadella, after Microsoft closes its US$7.2 billion acquisition of the Finnish device manufacturer. The two companies announced the transaction in September.

Microsoft also named Phil Spencer to lead its Xbox operation, reporting to operating systems group chief Terry Myerson. As the head of hardware, Elop will also play a role in developing the Xbox, Nadella said in the memo.

Speculation has mounted for years over the fate of the Xbox business, which has been deemed a potential candidate for a spin-off by some analysts and Microsoft insiders. 

Nadella, who unveiled Office for Apple's iPad at his first public appearance last week, signaled that he would shift the company's emphasis away from prioritising its Windows operating system at the expense of other initiatives.

"As I said on my first day, we need to do everything possible to thrive in a mobile-first, cloud-first world," Nadella said in a public email today.

"The announcements last week, our news this week, the Nokia acquisition closing soon, and the leaders and teams we are putting in place are all great first steps in making this happen."

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