Microsoft shakes up Windows Phone division

Steve Ballmer took the time today to announce to its troops that current Windows Phone Division president Andy Less will now have a new role at Microsoft and will be replaced by Terry Myerson who was already heading the divisions engineering team. I personally think that this is the right thing to do as I have always felt that Lees wasn’t really the guy for this division and more a Ballmer buddy who was put there back when Windows Mobile was on the brink of death. Now that Windows Phone 7 is out and well (sales will come later..well, unless Nokia continues to ship buggy devices worldwide) it was time to put somebody who knows what he’s talking about in charge what is seen as one of the company’s most critical asset. As a matter of fact Andy has now a new undisclosed role at Microsoft (reporting directly to Ballmer as usual) which will be a “time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8″ Whatever that means it sure looks like what I’ve been speculating all along and here (Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 sharing the same kernel) may be close to the reality.

Check out Steve Ballmer’s full email after the break:

From: Steve Ballmer
Subj: Leadership Next Steps – Windows Phone
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011

We are driving toward the end of the year with a lot of momentum and buzz, especially in the consumer arena. The new Xbox dashboard is being well received, Kinect and Xbox consoles set a record for Black Friday weekend sales, the Windows Store news from last week delighted developers and partners, Windows Phone 7.5 continues to win reviews, and the Nokia Lumia series has grabbed a ton of attention in Europe, creating anticipation for availability in other geographies next year.

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. 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. We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential.

Second, as Andy takes on these new challenges for the company, Terry Myerson will assume Andy’s existing responsibilities for leading the Windows Phone Division. As many of you know, Terry played a key and highly successful role working with Andy by leading the engineering work on Windows Phone 7 and 7.5. Terry will now be responsible for Windows Phone development, marketing, and other business functions. Because Terry has been so integrally involved in our Windows Phone work already, I’m confident that he can make a seamless transition to this new and broader leadership responsibility.

Both these changes take place immediately.

I want to personally thank Andy for his contributions to the phone team. 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.

It is amazing to pause and look back at what we’ve accomplished as a company this year, from our incredible product momentum to the formation of several powerful partnerships and the overall strength of our leadership team. And you know I’m a look-forward kind of person, so when I look forward to 2012, I see even more opportunity and potential in what we have planned.

Steve

source: Zdnet