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Ballmer Moves Windows Phone Boss to Windows 8 Project

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday sent out a cryptic note to staff informing them that Terry Myerson, head of engineering for Redmond's phone unit, will add business development, marketing and other responsibilities to his list of duties. The idea behind the change is to free up Andy Lees to work directly for Steve Ballmer on a special project.

"As I look at where we are, what we’ve done, and what we must do in the year ahead, I’m making two leadership changes to ensure we build on our momentum," Ballmer said in the email to employees, which has since been published by Microsoft.

"First, I have asked Andy Lees to move to a new role working for me on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8," said Ballmer, adding "We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential."

Ballmer goes on to say that Terry Myerson will assume Lees' existing responsibility for leading the Windows Phone division. Praised as a key component in the engineering work on Windows Phone 7 and 7.5, Ballmer says Terry will pick up Lees' development, marketing, and other business responsibilities and is not expecting any problems during the transition.

"Because Terry has been so integrally involved in our Windows Phone work already, I’m confident that [Terry] can make a seamless transition to this new and broader leadership responsibility," he said.

Though the first half of the email makes it sound as though Andy Lees is being called upon to perform a special task, Ballmer's note to employees makes it sound like Lees won't be returning to the Windows Phone division anytime soon.

"I want to personally thank Andy for his contributions to the phone team," he writes. "In the three years Andy has been leading the phone group, we’ve come a long way – we reset our strategy, built a strong team that delivered WP7 and WP7.5 and created critical new partnerships and ecosystem around Windows Phone. That is a ton of progress in a brief period of time, and I’m excited for Terry and team to keep driving forward and for Andy to dig into a new challenge."

Last month, Ballmer sparked rumors about Microsoft's intentions for Windows 8 in terms of smartphones with remarks he made during a recent shareholder meeting. Those listening to the CEO say he mentioned "driving Windows down to the phone with Windows 8," however, Microsoft says that Ballmer was misheard and that he never said Windows 8 was coming to phones. Check out more on that story here.

  • iamtheking123
    "We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8"

    Ummm...no they don't.
    Reply
  • crinkdude
    i guess windows phone is ok but windows 8 on a pc sucks ass :S
    Reply
  • Northwestern
    crinkdudei guess windows phone is ok but windows 8 on a pc sucks ass :S
    Just an FYI but Windows 8 is only available for PC right now, so why you added "on a pc" is beyond me.

    Reply
  • HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Well, get ready all for the massive direction of Windows Phone, now coming to a PC near you!
    Reply
  • SchizoFrog
    I am not surprised by this move as later next year WP7.5 (mango) will get the full WP8 update (Apollo I believe the codename is) So it makes sense to have the guy in charge and behind WP7 run a Windows 8 project and I am sure a lot of that project will be integration or at least feature sharing between W8 and WP8.
    Reply
  • SmileyTPB1
    It would seem that Microsoft is setting both projects up for failure.

    I know all of you are going to start flagging this comment negative but let's be honest. WP7.5 is what WP7 should have been. (like so many MS projects) All of you WP lovers out there be realistic. Phone manufacturers aren't exactly running to make WP phones and when compared to Android and iOS it is an inferior product.

    I don't see how putting the person in charge of one failed project in charge of another is going to make them both succeed.
    Reply
  • alikum
    SmileyTPB1It would seem that Microsoft is setting both projects up for failure. I know all of you are going to start flagging this comment negative but let's be honest. WP7.5 is what WP7 should have been. (like so many MS projects) All of you WP lovers out there be realistic. Phone manufacturers aren't exactly running to make WP phones and when compared to Android and iOS it is an inferior product.I don't see how putting the person in charge of one failed project in charge of another is going to make them both succeed.How is it a failed project when the OS can run around your Android with the latest hardware in circles with the last gen hardware?
    Reply
  • cold fire
    SmileyTPB1It would seem that Microsoft is setting both projects up for failure. I know all of you are going to start flagging this comment negative but let's be honest. WP7.5 is what WP7 should have been. (like so many MS projects) All of you WP lovers out there be realistic. Phone manufacturers aren't exactly running to make WP phones and when compared to Android and iOS it is an inferior product.I don't see how putting the person in charge of one failed project in charge of another is going to make them both succeed.
    You mean like how Android 2.2 was how Android should've been in the first place, or how iOS4 was how iOS should've been?
    Reply
  • darkavenger123
    SmileyTPB1 is right. I have a feeling Ballmer wants to screw this Andy guy and promotes the Terry guy to take over. The special projects will ends up nought and Andy will be left frustrated and forced to self resign....

    And yes, WP7 is a failure. It amazes me people here can't see pass tech hardware...doesn't matter if WP7 is better than Android (which it is not, only in areas of display smoothnees maybe). You have to look at it as a whole package. Android is still a much better UI (Tiles sucks ballz) and the momentum of the Android market and partners is staggering. WP7 is so insignificant, frankly, nobody cares it's there. This is why it is called a failure. Because it has failed to capture significant market share, failed to capture the continued interest of partners (i think there was very new few WP7 phones left after the initial launch...partners are already losing money on it...). Now left NOKIA to save WP7....which i doubt they can. Too little, too late. If Nokia has launched together with WP7, then the momentunm will be greater.....now it's just too late.
    Reply
  • darkavenger123
    Oh yeah, forgot to add....Android is just now Windows on the desktop...it is fragmented but also caters to all budgets and categories....Android has become MS, while WP7 tries to be like i0S (with all the strict rules and regulations etc), but yet nowhere near the full control of Apple....it is a failed business model for WP7. They should have exclusive deals with Nokia, make high-end phones in full control or open it up to all segments from low-end to high-end. MS should be itself instead of imitating Apple...and now Google has successfully imitate MS model on the desktop....ironic.
    Reply