The winds of change are blowing in the halls of Redmond.
Unnamed sources told AllThingsD that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will likely reveal a new restructuring plan to a large group of senior executives by July 1. This has reportedly worried many top managers, as Ballmer has not consulted with the wider leadership group, but instead has shared his plans with some of the Microsoft board members and a small group of his direct reports.
Sources claim that most senior executives have been left out of the decision making process relating to Ballmer's plan to swing Microsoft into "devices and services" mode, a plan he detailed in his annual shareholder letter in October 2012. Long-time high-ranking managers have been under stress since then thanks to a lack of information surrounding the impending changes.
Thus, since October, there has been some level of discomfort at Microsoft. The overall underwhelming sales of Windows 8, Windows RT and related devices certainly hasn't helped ease any tensions at Redmond. "It feels like it is going to be titanic -- that Steve is doing this change for his legacy," said one person close to the situation."And it's the first time in a long time that it feels like there will be some major shifts, including some departures."
Another source told AllThingsD that the level of worry has grown, as rampant internal rumors chat about what may or may not come. Microsoft hasn't seen this level of change -- like what is expected to come in the next month -- since Bill Gates ruled the house as CEO. "It would be funny if Ballmer did nothing in the end," said the source. "But no one thinks that’s possible now."
Sources noted that there will be significant departures from Microsoft, and many executives will have larger roles, as business units will be moved around into new divisions. There's reportedly a focus on Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft’s Servers and Tools division; Tony Bates, president of its Skype communications unit; and Don Mattrick, president of its Interactive Entertainment division. Qi Lu, president of Microsoft's Online Services unit, and Terry Myerson, who runs the Windows Phone division, are also in the picture.
Additional reports indicate that Ballmer plans to merge the Windows and Windows Phone groups into one unified team to better manage the constancy between desktop and mobile platforms. Both feature the same kernel, but the company may be shooting for an even more unified platform by merging the two app stores together.