Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced a company reorganization today, with major changes coming to the Windows and Devices Group (WDG), the organizational unit housing Windows development, Surface, and HoloLens.
The WDG is no more. The group is being split up. A new unit, “Experiences & Devices” will be led by Executive Vice President Rajesh Jha. Other parts are moving to Scott Guthrie’s “Cloud + AI” group. Certain parts of Microsoft’s AI + Research group are also moving to Guthrie’s organization. Nadella also said that WDG’s leader, Terry Myerson, is departing the company.
Mary Jo Foley has the full details of the reorg. The new naming suggests a downplaying of Windows—still a major money-maker for the company—but not its abandonment. Panos Panay will continue to lead Surface devices with the new title of chief product officer. Joe Belfiore will continue to lead the Windows client experience, covering both Windows itself and cross-device interoperability. Both leaders will report to Jha, as will Brad Anderson and his Windows Enterprise Deployment and Management team.
As for Guthrie, the Windows and Azure platforms are being combined, operating under Jason Zander. Zander’s group will also include Roanne Sones, manager for the Strategy and Ecosystem team, which is responsible for working with Microsoft’s OEMs and silicon vendors. Alex Kipman, the man behind both Kinect and HoloLens, will continue to work on HoloLens as part of a new team called AI Perception and Mixed Reality Services.
The Windows platform has many masters. It is important for both Microsoft’s client and server businesses, of course, but it’s also fundamental to the Azure platform. While it has become increasingly unified, responsibility for its development (and financial reporting) has often been split between divisions.
Under the new organization, it appears that the split will continue but in a more logical fashion: the core operating system platform will all be managed under Zander, while user interface, online services, applications, and showcase hardware such as Surface and Surface Hub, will be under Jha. These online services—both end-user facing ones like OneDrive and enterprise ones such as Intune—will be core to monetizing Windows going forward, and we can expect to see further development and promotion of bundles such as Microsoft 365, which combines Office 365 with Windows 10 and mobile management.
No layoffs are expected as part of the reorganization. Myerson is not leaving immediately, but instead he will see out the transition over the coming months. The reporting structure used in its financials will also not be changing.
Listing image by Microsoft