Microsoft's Windows head Terry Myerson to leave company amid reorganization

Microsoft's Windows head Terry Myerson to leave company amid reorganization

Microsoft's Windows head Terry Myerson to leave company amid reorganization

Microsoft is reorganizing its engineering teams, the company announced Thursday, in one of the largest restructurings since CEO Satya Nadella took over four years ago.

Photo Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and devices group, will be departing as part of the reorganization.

The latest transition builds on earlier efforts to unite engineers who work on software with those that oversee hardware.

A new team, dubbed AI Perception & Mixed Reality, to be led by Alex Kipman, a Microsoft Technical Fellow and the inventor of the Kinect and HoloLens devices. One team will focus on the cloud and AI, the other on what it calls "experiences and devices".

Furthermore, WDG's other segment is being moved to Cloud+AI, which is to be led by Scott Guthrie, another Microsoft veteran.

Myerson has been at Microsoft for more than two decades.

Microsoft Corp.is moving its Windows franchise, the product largely responsible for its rise as a tech powerhouse, from the center of its operations. Last year, Microsoft laid the groundwork created to make Windows part of a recurring subscription business via Microsoft 365, which is a bundle of Windows 10, Office 365, and elements of the Enterprise Security + Mobility service. The company managed to turn its individual on-premises Office products into a cloud bundle with Office 365 - which is growing even faster than Microsoft itself expected. Guthrie, a Microsoft lifer, is being given control of some of Microsoft most important bets on cloud and edge computing driven by applied machine-learning techniques. Some of the Windows team will also operate under the Azure group (more on this later). Rajesh Jha, previously an Office executive, will be leading this new team as Terry Myerson departs in several months time.

In making the change, Nadella invoked Conway's Law, a 1960's adage that holds a company's software will be structured in much the same way as the company itself.

Panos Panay gets a new title - chief product officer - and still heads up devices. "The goal of this team is to instill a unifying product ethos across our end-user experiences and devices", said Nadella. The feature is now limited to Microsoft's Outlook, Hotmail, Live, and Office 365 services-anyone who uses Gmail, Yahoo, or Exchange Server calendars is going to miss out.

The company's AI + Research division, formed two years ago under the leadership of Harry Shum, remains intact, while the revamped cloud division will have a significant AI component as well. For instance, Nadella said, "we are investing in strategies and tools for detecting and addressing bias in AI systems and implementing new requirements established by the GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation]".

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