Elop’s departure now is further evidence that Nadella felt the strategy behind the Nokia acquisition “was clearly not heading down the right path”, said investment analyst Daniel Ives of FBR Capital Markets, in an email.
Eric Rudder, whose Microsoft bio indecisively describes him as both Vice President of Advanced Technology and Education, and Vice President of Advanced Strategy, is also leaving.
Elop was the ex- CEO of Nokia and joined Microsoft early previous year after overseeing the sale of Nokia to Microsoft.
And among a number of prominent individuals moving between departments and positions, controversial executive Stephen Elop is a high profile casualty, having opted to retire.
It was the second stint at Microsoft for the Canadian national, hired as chief executive by Nokia in 2010 in a bid to revitalize the group’s smartphone efforts. In 2005, Microsoft reversed course, consolidating its seven divisions into three – platform products and services, business, and entertainment and devices.
EVP Scott Guthrie will continue leading cloud and enterprise at Microsoft, while Qi Lu will stay at the helm of applications and services.
The company’s Nokia handset business, run by Elop, has been a problem area; Microsoft cautioned in April that it might have to take a writedown in the operation.
Elop ran Microsoft’s hardware devices businesses. But instead the company named veteran executive Satya Nadella as its next CEO in February of 2014.
Microsoft on Wednesday announced a reorganization that will consolidate its business groups and engineering teams in an effort to integrate its cloud and mobility solutions. Terry Myerson, who led OSG, will lead the new division. The new unit will build all Microsoft devices including Surface, HoloLens, Lumia, Surface Hub, Band and Xbox. Elop will leave Microsoft after a “transition period” of an undisclosed length.
“To better align our capabilities and, ultimately, deliver better products and services our customers love at a more rapid pace, I have decided to organize our engineering effort into three groups that work together to deliver on our strategy and ambitions”. The team is focused on building the intelligent cloud platform of Microsoft.
Outside of Microsoft’s shakeup focused on engineering restructuring changes, Chief Insights Officer Mark Penn intends to leave the company in September.
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