Email from CEO Satya Nadella reveals senior leadership team adjustments

Microsoft reshuffles executive leadership

Microsoft has reshuffled its senior leadership team.

Revealed in an internal email from CEO Satya Nadella and acquired by the Seattle Times, a number of changes to Microsoft’s executive ranks have been made.

Former Skype CEO and business development and evangelism chief Tony Bates has left the firm, with Eric Rudder set to serve as interim leader in the meantime while continuing his role in advanced technology.

“I have decided we need a single leader running marketing for the company,” said Nadella, “and have asked Chris Capossela to take on this role as EVP and chief marketing officer, reporting to me.”

“He has been at the center of our devices and services transformation in SMSG as the worldwide leader of the consumer channels group (CCG), starting with the formation and building of CCG, to overseeing the launch of numerous consumer products from Windows 8/8.1, Surface and Xbox One.”

“Chris will be promoted to EVP and join the SLT as a part of his new role and will remain as acting lead for CCG until his replacement is named.”

The appointment of Capossela has resulted in Mark Penn, the man responsible for the much-praised Microsoft Super Bowl advert, “playing a new leadership role at the company” as EVP, chief strategy officer.

Currently head of marketing Tami Reller is said to “agree with the go-forward approach of a single marketing leader and will support Chris through his transition into his new role. She will then take time off and pursue other interests outside the company.”

Nadella ends the email by recalling a book about the University of Washington rowing team that won the Olympics in 1936, written by former Microsoft employee Daniel James Brown.

“‘There is a thing that sometimes happens in rowing that is hard to achieve and hard to define,’” he quotes.

“‘Many crews, even winning crews, never really find it. Others find it but can’t sustain it. It’s called ‘swing.’ It only happens when all eight oarsmen are rowing in such perfect unison that no single action by any one is out of synch with those of all the others….Poetry, that’s what a good swing looks like.’”

“As a company, as a leadership team, as individuals, that is our goal – to find our swing. As an SLT and across the company we are on our way.”

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