More talk about a reorganization at Microsoft has surfaced, reporting that Skype president Tony Bates may be put in charge of acquisitions and relationships with software developers, and Windows chief Julie Larson-Green given oversight of hardware engineering for the whole company. The news arrives after Xbox head Don Mattrick, who was slated for the hardware engineering role, left his post this week to take the helm of game developer Zynga.
Last year Microsoft announced a new shift in strategy that will focus on computing devices and Internet-based services. The restructuring, which Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was scheduled to reveal internally around July 1, would concentrate units under these key areas. The plan would also separate product engineering from business functions. Ballmer is reportedly still shuffling roles and may not officially announce the restructuring until everything is in place.
For now Ballmer is reportedly taking control of the Xbox division. However as previously mentioned, Larson-Green may be placed in charge of hardware engineering for all devices, including the Xbox One console and Surface tablets. Windows Phone software chief Terry Myerson may also be given the added responsibility for the Windows operating system engineering, as the two groups may be merged together.
Sources told Bloomberg that Satya Nadella, current head of the server business, will likely oversee a unit focused on cloud computing and products for the enterprise sector. Qi Lu, which is currently chief of the online group, may run an applications and services engineering unit consisting of Bing, Skype and Office. Windows marketing head Tami Reller may oversee an entire marketing unit.
Sources also said that Bates will probably lead strategy and business development, and work on building relationships with software developers and Microsoft partners who make hardware running Microsoft software products. As Bloomberg points out, the overall staffing changes will provide clues as to the executives who may eventually take Ballmer's place as CEO once he steps down or retires.
News of the Microsoft shuffle heated up last week when sources said there will be significant departures, and many executives will have larger roles, as business units will be moved around into new divisions. Sources said the restructuring would be focused 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, were also in the picture.
Another report stated 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. So far last week's sources seem to be dead on the money, and we expect to hear something formal from Microsoft's CEO as early as next week.