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Microsoft Executive Shuffle Goes “Live”
The anticipated Microsoft reorganization is now happening. We wrote about it previously with respect to the ouster of Steve Berkowitz. Some are speculating that these changes anticipate a future integration of Yahoo into the company. But Mary Jo Foley says they were in motion well before the announced bid. (NOTE: See Official: Microsoft Management Reorg Announced; Dueling Ad Groups? for the latest news on changes).
CNET provides a good summary of who’s in and who’s out:
The move will see three top executives–including two prominent outside hires–leaving the company. Exiting Microsoft are: Senior Vice President Steven Berkowitz, the former Ask.com CEO who had been heading Microsoft’s online services unit, and Mike Sievert, the former AT&T Wireless executive brought in to run Windows marketing . . .
Bill Veghte will add Windows Live marketing oversight to his responsibility running the Windows business unit. On the mobile side, longtime server and tools unit executive Andy Lees is headed over to the Mobile and Embedded devices unit.
The Wall Street Journal focuses its story on the moves with respect to mobile.
One can’t help but think that some of these shifts do in fact assume a Microsoft-Yahoo combination. Microsoft has been courting Yahoo for well over a year and one eye has to be on the impact of the proposed acquisition. If you were Microsoft and didn’t consider that, then you’d either have to dump all the Yahoo executives or do yet another reorg after you’d just done one.
By the same token, there’s still a chance at least that the Yahoo deal won’t happen (with recent talks between Yahoo and News Corp). This reorganization must have a kind of “stand alone integrity” if the acquisition doesn’t wind up taking place.