Microsoft announced its latest and long-rumored corporate reorganization on Thursday. However, this one appeared to be less about redesigning the ship while it's in motion, which is Microsoft's usual practice during a reorganization, and more about rearranging the deck chairs or rather, who sits in them.
In the latest round of changes, the company promoted seven long-time Microsoft executives to the title of senior vice president, and seven others to the title of corporate vice president. However, in several cases executives will continue to do the same jobs they're already doing.
This latest reorganization is not as comprehensive structurally as, for instance, September 2005's reorg, where the company spit itself into three separate operating divisions.
The 2005 split was meant to make the combined company more agile and quicker to respond to customers. This reorg, on the other hand, seems to be more aimed at making sure that key management talent stays around.
At the same time, three other senior executives are leaving the company or have left already. Frequent reorganizations are nothing new and, in fact, are almost an annual event at Microsoft. Often in the past, they have been announced in late winter after planning activities for the next fiscal year which begins July 1 were finished.
"Each of these executives will play a critical role in leading Microsoft into the future [and] today's promotions are a result of their ability to think strategically on a global scale, the respect they've earned from their peers, customers and partners, and their significant contributions to the company," CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement.
According to a Microsoft statement, among those promoted to senior vice president:
Newly promoted corporate vice presidents include:
Of course, shuffles that comprehensive don't come about without some loss of personnel. For example, earlier Thursday the company confirmed that a key senior executive who had been leader of Microsoft's Windows Mobile business has left the company to work for mobile communications giant Vodaphone.
Pieter Knook, senior vice president of Microsoft's mobile communications business and a 17-year company veteran, will start his new job as director of a new business unit called Vodaphone Internet Services in mid-March, according to a Vodaphone statement.
It is unknown whether Knook's departure was related to Microsoft's announced acquisition of mobile consumer software maker Danger this week, or the company's recent bid for search giant Yahoo. It is also unclear whether it's connected to the reorganization.
Other than confirming Knook's departure, however, Microsoft had little to add.