Microsoft CEO confirms exec shuffle as two demur on “all in” change

Chris Davies - Mar 3, 2014
Microsoft CEO confirms exec shuffle as two demur on “all in” change

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed the latest executive shuffle, suggesting that he demanded his senior leadership team commit to being “all in” and that some execs were unwilling to step up. “We need to drive clarity, alignment and intensity across all our work” Nadella wrote in an open-letter today, with Tony Bates and Tami Reller opting to leave Microsoft instead.

Bates had been in charge of Microsoft’s Business Development and Evangelism team, having joined Microsoft after it acquired Skype. Reller, meanwhile, has been in charge of the Marketing Group, but will hand over duties to Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s new EVP and CMO.

“I have decided we need a single leader running marketing for the company” Nadella writes. “I have talked about the premium we need to place on getting very, very focused on things that we can uniquely do. How we articulate our value, how we market our message, how we deliver that value to customers through our advertising and other channels, all have to tie into an overarching strategy.”

Mark Penn, meanwhile, will be Microsoft’s EVP and Chief Strategy Officer, using data analysis to figure out marketing and positioning for products and services.

According to Nadella, he “discussed this point in various forms with the [senior leadership team] and have asked for their “all in” commitment as we embark on the next chapter for the company.” The former online services chief was named CEO in early February, replacing Steve Ballmer with immediate effect.

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