Microsoft is swapping out Windows Phone Chief Andy Lees to a new role that will have him involved in a new "time-critical opportunity" involving both Windows Phone and Windows 8. Details on the shakeup were revealed by AllThingsD, which obtained an internal memo issued by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
"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," said Ballmer in the memo. "We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8 and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential."
Lees has been leading the Windows Phone group for the past three years, but the platform has been slow to pickup and still has not gained much in market share despite positive reviews of the new Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update. Next year will be critical with the release of Nokia's first Windows Phone device.
To replace Lees will be Terry Myerson, who is a corporate VP of Windows Phone Engineering. Myerson will take over some of Lees responsibilities, including business development and marketing, but will not be granted the president title of Windows Phone.