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Microsoft announces changes to executive team

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced significant changes to the leadership team. As a result of the changes, the software giant will lose Tony Bates and Tami Reller, who played significant roles at Microsoft in the recent years. Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft, wants to ensure that the senior leadership team at the software giant is perfectly aligned and works in unison.

Tony Bates has decided this is the right time for him to look for his next opportunity. Tony Bates came to the company via the Skype acquisition, where he was chief exec of Skype. More recently he stepped up to the new opportunity of leading the business development and evangelism team. However, it was decided that Mr. Bates will leave Microsoft in the coming days. Eric Rudder will serve as interim leader responsible for business development and evangelism, while continuing in his current role.

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft, decided to appoint one chief marketing officer and cease to have multiple marketing executives at the company. Chris Capossela will become the CMO of Microsoft going forward. Chris Capossela is an experienced specialist in marketing and is a strong organizational leader. He has been at the center of Microsoft’s devices and services transformation in SMSG as the worldwide leader of the consumer channels group (CCG), starting with the formation and building of CCG, to overseeing the launch of numerous consumer products from Windows 8/8.1, Surface and Xbox One. Chris will be promoted to executive vice president and join the SLT as a part of his new role and will remain as acting lead for CCG until his replacement is named.


This change in marketing structure provides an opportunity for Mark Penn to play a new leadership role at the company as the chief strategy officer. Mr. Penn brings a blend of data analysis and creativity that has led to new ways of working and strong market outcomes such as the “Honestly” campaign and the Super Bowl ad, both of which were widely cited as examples of high impact advertising across the industry.

Tami Reller agreed with the go-forward approach of a single marketing leader and will support Chris through his transition into his new role. She will then take time off and pursue other interests outside the company. Tami’s contributions to Microsoft are significant; she’s held multiple CFO jobs across the company, for Microsoft Dynamics, the product and services division and Windows. She led marketing, finance and business strategy for Windows including Surface and partner devices. Over the past eight months, she’s led the marketing group, bringing many distinct teams together to form a cohesive organization.

KitGuru Says: It is logical for new chief executive officers to adjust senior management team in accordance with his preferences and feelings. While the changes are significant, they are not dramatic and will hardly significantly change Microsoft execution.

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