Kevin Johnson left Microsoft a year ago and his old Platforms & Services Division fragmented with three senior vice presidents Steven Sinofsky, Jon DeVaan and Bill Veghte reporting directly to Steve Ballmer for Windows/Windows Live. Today, Microsoft announced that the musical chairs had ended and Steven Sinofsky is now President of Microsoft’s Windows Division:
Microsoft Corp. today promoted Steven Sinofsky to president of the Windows Division. Sinofsky, a 20-year Microsoft veteran, most recently led the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, contributing to the Oct. 22 availability of Windows 7.
As president, Sinofsky assumes responsibility for the Windows business including both the engineering and marketing functions for Windows, Windows Live and Internet Explorer.
As for the other two Senior VP who had reported to Ballmer:
Tami Reller, currently chief financial officer (CFO) for the Windows Division, will take on the additional responsibility for marketing. Bill Veghte will be moving to a new leadership role in the company to be announced later this year. The transition between Reller and Veghte is timed to take place in late July when Windows 7 reaches the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone. … She will report to Sinofsky and will retain her responsibilities as CFO.
Jon DeVaan will continue in his role as senior vice president, reporting to Sinofsky. DeVaan managed the engineering team responsible for creating the core components of both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Up until today Kevin Johnson was the president of Microsoft’s Platforms & Services Division (PSD) which develops Windows and Microsoft’s online properties including Windows Live and MSN. Now Kevin Johnson is out and PSD has been split into two pieces reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer:
Microsoft Corp. today announced that the Platforms & Services Division (PSD) will be split into two groups: Windows/Windows Live and Online Services, with both groups reporting directly to CEO Steve Ballmer. Microsoft also announced that PSD President Kevin Johnson will be leaving the company. Johnson will work to ensure a smooth transition.
Effective immediately, senior vice presidents Steven Sinofsky, Jon DeVaan and Bill Veghte will report directly to Ballmer to lead Windows/Windows Live.
In the Online Services Business, Microsoft will create a new senior lead position and will conduct a search that will span internal and external candidates. In the meantime, Senior Vice President Satya Nadella will continue to lead Microsoft’s search, MSN and ad platform engineering efforts.
In addition, Senior Vice President Brian McAndrews will continue to lead the Advertiser & Publisher Solutions Group (APS).
So was Johnson pushed or did he jump? The rumor is that Johnson is now going to run Juniper Networks, which while nice enough, doesn’t seem like a sufficient opportunity to justify a voluntary departure so the smart money is on pushed.
One problem could have been Vista’s lackluster reputation, but Microsoft is still printing money with Windows so a more likely cause is the continuing disappointment from Microsoft’s online efforts. I’m sure it also didn’t help that Johnson was the point man on Microsoft’s attempt to buy Yahoo (or pieces thereof) which appears to have finally come to naught.
As for what it all means, I see no reason to expect significant changes in either products or financial performance – it was merely a rearrangement of the deck chairs which won’t be complete until new executives heading the two groups are named (assuming that Steve Ballmer doesn’t really want to run Windows/Windows Live himself). Any expectations of radical alterations are clearly premature.
A variety of Microsoft news items that didn’t find a post of their own this week:
Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet reports that newly appointed Microsoft SVP Jon DeVaan is wasting no time reorganizing the Windows Core Operating System Division for building the successor to Vista (codenamed “Fiji”). The changes don’t take effect until Vista gets out the door though.
In other personnel news, Rick Devenuti, senior vice president of Microsoft Services and IT, is retiring. Devenuti oversaw Microsoft’s managed services effort. Also WSO2 hires mash-up master from Microsoft. The master is Jonathan Marsh and WSO2 is a startup founded by ex-IBMer Sanjiva Weerawarana that sells support and products for the Apache Axis Web services tools.
Steve Ballmer’s Business Week interview also produced the revelation that Microsoft is not losing money on each Zune sold although he would have liked it better if Apple had kept the price of the comparable iPod at $299. This is directly contrary to previous Microsoft statements.
Microsoft’s Internet Protocol television (IPTV) efforts received a big boost from hardware vendors Tuesday, after Cisco, Motorola, Philips and Tatung all announced new set-top boxes that support Microsoft IPTV Edition software.
Some Belgian newspapers not only don’t want to be indexed by Google, they’re complaining to MSN too. I’m being facetious, of course. What they really want is a cut off the top. In other legal news, Microsoft is trying to get the lead opposition lawyer in the Iowa antitrust cased removed.
The Microsoft OpenDocument Format plugin for Microsoft Word will be released October 23. You’ll recall that this saves Microsoft’s bacon with some customers demanding open document formatting standards.
Microsoft continues to offer more assistance for businesses willing to build infrastructure with Microsoft Office as a front end:
With the release of Office Business Applications (OBA) Reference Application Pack (RAP) this week, Microsoft in essence is acknowledging that they are on to something big in the enterprise market.
Microsoft is calling this the second generation of OBA and is in response to wide acceptance of the first generation.
Like Duet, a product partnership with SAP that offers up the Office suite of products as a standard interface for SAP backend applications, OBA RAP will do the same, but this time not tied to any vendor’s backend system.
Josh Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting, said that OBA is significant because Office is certainly one of the better interfaces around for knowledge workers.
The release of the OBA reference for building the front end to a supply chain management system will demonstrate that a company can build a procurement process with a combination of Outlook, Word, and Excel and do everything they want, said Greenbaum.
Windows CE is wide open to attack compared to desktop Windows according to a security researcher at Kaspersky Labs. Bound to happen.
On Friday he was congratulating the Vista team on the release of RC1, but today Brian Valentine is Amazon-bound:
Brian Valentine, the Microsoft senior vice president in charge of Windows development, is leaving to join Amazon.com, a company representative said in an e-mailed statement this afternoon. It’s a major departure, but it might not qualify as the biggest surprise: Microsoft had said in August that it planned to reassign Valentine to another area of the company after Windows Vista was released. Senior Vice President Jon DeVaan was brought in at the time to ultimately assume Valentine’s role.
We mentioned that rearrangement here. Valentine will start at Amazon in mid-September.
Update: More at the Seattle Times.