Microsoft officially announces exec ladder changes


microsoft-logoMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella has officially announced changes in its executive ladder via a blog post, confirming reports that first emerged yesterday.

As first reported by Re/code, Tony Bates and Tami Reller will be leaving the company and the positions their positions will be filled by Eric Rudder and Chris Capossela, respectively.

Bates came to Microsoft when the company acquired Skype and he remained as its leader as well as EVP of business development and evangelism.  Nadella’s post stated that Bates believes that this is the right time to look for other opportunities and the Microsoft team wishes him well in his endeavor. Rudder will assume Bate’s role, whilst remaining as the company’s EVP of advanced strategy.

Microsoft is streamlining and with that, some roles are being discarded. Capossela is Microsoft’s marketing exec and he has been assigned as the new EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, and will directly report to Nadella. Reller is the EVP of marketing, which was made redundant with Capossela’s new position. Reller agreed with Microsoft’s single marketing leader strategy and will be helping Capossela transition to his new position before she leaves the company to look for other opportunities.

Microsoft EVP of advertising and strategy Mark Penn has been appointed as the company’s EVP, Chief Strategy Officer. The change in the marketing structure is believed to provide new growth for the company, as well as give Penn the opportunity to show off his skills.

“I am looking forward to applying Mark’s unique skill set across a broader set of challenges facing the company, from new product ideas to helping shape the overall areas of strategic investment. He will be a member of and an advisor to the SLT and will continue to report to me,” Nadella stated.

In closing, Nadella took an excerpt from the book “The Boys in the Boat,” written by Daniel James Brown, who worked at Microsoft for over a decade. The excerpt described that a team of rowers working together at the highest level achieve what the book describes as “the swing of the boat,” but not all teams are able to achieve it, and those that achieve it can’t sustain it. Nadella likens his team as a rowing team and the changes in its executive ladder are needed for the company to achieve the swing of the boat.

“There is a thing that sometimes happens in rowing that is hard to achieve and hard to define. Many crews, even winning crews, never really find it. Others find it but can’t sustain it. It’s called ‘swing.’ It only happens when all eight oarsmen are rowing in such perfect unison that no single action by any one is out of synch with those of all the others….Poetry, that’s what a good swing looks like.”