Microsoft shuffles Windows Phone management to build momentum

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft has rearranged its management team for Windows Phone, shifting division head Andy Lees to a "time-critical opportunity" to build momentum for its Windows Phone and Windows 8 operating systems, a move that some have viewed as a sign of failure.



An internal memo from Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer was first leaked by AllThingsD, then publicly released on Monday. The document caused some confusion as it was unclear whether Lees' new role was a promotion or a demotion.



Ballmer wrote to employees at the Redmond, Wash., software giant that Lees, who took over as Windows Phone president just 14 months ago, would move to a new role working for him on "a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8." The executive noted that the change would set Microsoft up to "really deliver" on the "tremendous potential" of the two operating systems.



The memo thanked Lees for his contributions to the team, noting that he had made a "ton of progress" in a short amount of time. "In the three years Andy has been leading the phone group, we?ve come a long way ? we reset our strategy, built a strong team that delivered WP7 and WP7.5 and created critical new partnerships and ecosystem around Windows Phone," the note read.



Former Windows Phone engineering lead Terry Myerson will take over Lees' existing responsibilities, including development, marketing and "other business functions," according to the memo.



"Because Terry has been so integrally involved in our Windows Phone work already, I?m confident that he can make a seamless transition to this new and broader leadership responsibility," Ballmer wrote.



Adding to Ballmer's words of affirmation, handset maker Nokia, a close partner with Microsoft these days, issued a statement praising Lees' work.



?We are grateful for Andy?s support and commitment in getting Nokia?s Lumia range into the market, on schedule,? Executive VP Jo Harlow told AllThingsD. ?We would like to thank him for his hard work and wish him well in his new ventures at Microsoft. We have been working closely with Terry and are looking forward to collaborating with him more broadly.?



The fact that Lees' role will span both the Windows and Windows Phone teams may serve as further evidence of Microsoft's plans to merge the two platforms. Ballmer has made clear that his vision for Windows is for it to be "everywhere on every device without compromise." Lees said in July that he believes PCs, tablets and phones will eventually merge into a "unified ecosystem," though he did not indicate when he expects that to happen for Microsoft.\t



Windows 8 will take a step in that direction by adding support for ARM-based architectures and including a secondary tablet-oriented interface called Metro. The operating system is slated for release sometime next year.



However, Lees' new role was also taken by some to be a result of disappointing sales of Windows Phone. Joe Wilcox of BetaNews speculated that Ballmer's email could be interpreted as a firing of Lees, though "he's too high level to just show the door." Wilcox went on to note that Windows Phone's paltry 1.2 percent market share in the third quarter is a "measure of failure, in a really big way."



"On second thought, I'm convincing myself that Lees is sidelined and as a leader, forgive me, castrated," he wrote. "Hell, he is no longer a Microsoft president -- and over one of the company's most strategically important product groups.



"It's likely the Lees era is over at the Windows Phone division," he continued, adding that "Microsoft has fallen too far behind and can't get up."



Windows Phone 7 arrived last fall, but failed to gain much support from consumers. Reviewers praised some of Microsoft's user interface decisions as "novel and attractive," while generally noting that the OS appeared to be a few years behind Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Ballmer said in September that Windows Phone's first year of sales didn't amount to "quite as many as [he] would have liked."



Microsoft worked to make up for lost time with a major update, codenamed "Mango," to Windows Phone this fall. In October, Nokia unveiled its first two Windows Phone devices under the brand "Lumia" after agreeing to abandon its own Symbian OS in favor of Windows Phone early this year.



Nokia's new Lumia 800 (left) and Lumia 710 are its first Windows Phones.



Some analysts are skeptical that even Nokia, the world's largest handset manufacturer, will bring Microsoft critical mass for its mobile platform. Pacific Crest Securities analyst James Faucette cut his sales forecast for Nokia's Windows Phone devices in half last month, stating that he believes the handsets are "unlikely to get traction."



Microsoft's partners are also worried about the platform. U.S. wireless operator AT&T has even admitted that Microsoft will face "a lot of challenges" in going up against its well-entrenched rivals.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    WP7 is a great mobile OS. I hope they can find an opportunity to exploit. So far it's not looking so good.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    WP7 is a great mobile OS. I hope they can find an opportunity to exploit. So far it's not looking so good.



    I have never even seen a Windows Phone in the wild in either Europe or the US. I think they are a myth, like the easter bunny or bigfoot.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Nokia's Lumia 800 is doing very, very well in Europe. It'll be interesting to hear just how many they've sold in the run up to Christmas.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    The term for the Lees promotion is [temporal] "percussive sublimation"...



    Pity though, that we'll need to come up with a different name for the MS/Google competitor to Siri...



    I rather like the sound of AndyAndy...
  • Reply 5 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac.World


    I think they are a myth, like the easter bunny or bigfoot.



    I don't understand... what do you mean? Obviously all those easter eggs don't deliver themselves!
  • Reply 6 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    I don't understand... what do you mean? Obviously all those easter eggs don't deliver themselves!



    And the only evidence that bigfoot leaves behind are giant turds.
  • Reply 7 of 42
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Microsoft shuffles Windows Phone management to build momentum



    why do we so seldom hear about apple shuffling management to build mo ... meh ... never mind.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,289member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post


    I have never even seen a Windows Phone in the wild in either Europe or the US. I think they are a myth, like the easter bunny or bigfoot.



    I have seen one WP7 when in flight from LA to SF a couple months ago. Interesting interface. It looks promising and in my personal opinion, is better than that mess they call Android.



    It holds promise, but I doubt it will get far so long as the chair-throwing monkey-boy is at the helm.



    Good luck WP7. You're going to need it.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    The only management shuffle they need is to shuffle Steve Ballmer out the door. Then every year after that, Microsoft should have a ceremonial chair throwing party on the day he was fired.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    deck chairs.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Nokia's Lumia 800 is doing very, very well in Europe. It'll be interesting to hear just how many they've sold in the run up to Christmas.



    Lumia 800 has just opened for bookings in India. It looks pretty interesting. I will read a few reviews to see how the interface is.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ArchAngel21x View Post


    The only management shuffle they need is to shuffle Steve Ballmer out the door. Then every year after that, Microsoft should have a ceremonial chair throwing party on the day he was fired.





    I would sponsor a dozen chairs for that!
  • Reply 13 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Nokia's Lumia 800 is doing very, very well in Europe. It'll be interesting to hear just how many they've sold in the run up to Christmas.



    well = 100 sold

    very well = 1000 sold

    very very well = 10,000 sold



    you get my progression
  • Reply 14 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post


    I have never even seen a Windows Phone in the wild in either Europe or the US. I think they are a myth, like the easter bunny or bigfoot.



    I saw a pink Nokia Lumia 800 in the Wild in McDonalds.



    But I agree with SolipsismX - its a great mobile OS. I'm tempted to buy one after christmas.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ArchAngel21x View Post


    The only management shuffle they need is to shuffle Steve Ballmer out the door. Then every year after that, Microsoft should have a ceremonial chair throwing party on the day he was fired.



    ^This
  • Reply 16 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hoss the Dog View Post


    well = 100 sold

    very well = 1000 sold

    very very well = 10,000 sold



    you get my progression



    2nd and 3rd best selling at Vodaphone:

    http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_lumia_...-news-3421.php



    Best selling phone at biggest network in the Netherlands:



    http://wmpoweruser.com/nokia-lumia-800-tops-sales-charts-at-netherlandss-largest-mobile-operator/






    So yes, 500,000 to 1M in Q1 is looking likely. Of those, about 100 will be in the US.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    One of my students bought a WP7 when they first came out.



    At the time he couldn't use it as a phone because it wouldn't connect to the carrier. That lasted a couple of weeks or so after he bought it. It honestly didn't look too bad. He likes it. It might be another case of too little, too late for Microsoft.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    And the only evidence that bigfoot leaves behind are giant turds.



    200,000 Android activations a day is a lot of evidence for bigfoot.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Microsoft has rearranged its management team for Windows Phone, shifting division head Andy Lees to a "time-critical opportunity" to build momentum for its Windows Phone and Windows 8 operating systems, a move that some have viewed as a sign of failure.



    An internal memo from Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer was first leaked by AllThingsD, then publicly released on Monday. The document caused some confusion as it was unclear whether Lees' new role was a promotion or a demotion.



    I don't see the confusion at all. Ballmer says to the Division Head: you're responsible for this division, so I'm going to set aside all of your other responsibilities and your job is to make sure that Windows Mobile 8 is a success. That means that 100% of your time should be spent on promotion during the next 6 months which is the critical time frame.



    It happens all the time. Basically, the division head is given a 'do or die' opportunity.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    This story reminds me of an apparent quote from a Titanic crewman.



    "Hold on a moment please, while I just patch this hole "
  • Reply 20 of 42
    How much more shareholders money is Microsoft going to piss away on the complete failure known as Windows Phone? The interface is unusable. Who in their right mind things text scrolling off the right side of the screen all over the place makes sense? We are talking Design 101 here.



    Like i have always said....DOA. Microsoft should stop wasting shareholders money and focus on milking their illegally obtained desktop monopoly. Just develop software for iOS and Android and continue patent trolling Android cloners. that is where they will return the most money to their shareholders.
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