Microsoft Shakes Up Sees Former Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop Departure

Ali Salman
Posted 1 year ago

Microsoft has announced a massive break in leadership on Wednesday, departing the former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to retirement. Satya Nadella also unveiled a list of other senior executives who will be leaving alongside Elope. Nadella on this stated, “With the structural change described above, Stephen and I have agreed that now is the right time for him to retire from Microsoft. I regret the loss of leadership that this represents, and look forward to seeing where his next destination will be.”

As Microsoft shapes in new trends under Satya Nadella, the team is being restructured after Elop’s departure. It was Steve Ballmer, Nadella’s predecessor who acquired nokia for $7 Billion to construct the new errands of Microsoft in the smartphone industry. However, with continuous decline in sales the Windows phones lost market share and cost cutting in smartphone business is continued.

Nokia Boss, Elop To Depart – Satya Nadella’s Announcement

Elop was head of Microsoft’s hardware department and the heir to the field will be terry Myerson to be part of the new division. Two other executives, Eric Rudder and Kirill Tatarinov along with senior strategist Mark Penn will also leave. Glance upon the entire letter that Satya Nadella sent to the company employees for Elop and many others’ departure and the restructuring of the team as a whole.

From: Satya Nadella
To: All Employees
Date: June 17, 2015
Subject: Aligning Our Strategy & Structure


As we approach a new fiscal year, I’d like to share with you how we are aligning our structure to our strategy and the changes to our Senior Leadership Team.

Over the past year, I have said that Microsoft aspires to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. To do this, building the best-in-class productivity services and platforms for the mobile-first, cloud-first world is at the heart of our strategy, with three interconnected and bold ambitions:

  • Reinvent productivity and business processes
  • Build the intelligent cloud platform
  • Create more personal computing

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 changes take effect today.

  • Terry Myerson will lead a new team, Windows and Devices Group (WDG), enabling our vision of a more personal computing experience powered by the Windows ecosystem. We will combine the engineering efforts of our current Operating Systems Group and Microsoft Devices Group (MDG) led by Stephen Elop. This new team brings together all the engineering capability required to drive breakthrough innovations that will propel the Windows ecosystem forward. WDG will drive Windows as a service across devices of all types and build all of our Microsoft devices including Surface, HoloLens, Lumia, Surface Hub, Band and Xbox. This enables us to create new categories while generating enthusiasm and demand for Windows broadly.
  • Scott Guthrie will continue to lead the Cloud and Enterprise (C+E) team focused on building the intelligent cloud platform that powers any application on any device. The C+E team will also focus on building high-value infrastructure and business services that are unique to enterprise customers, such as data and analytics products, security and management offerings, and business processes. Today, we are also moving the development teams who build ourDynamics products to C+E, which will enable us to accelerate our ERP and CRM work even further and mainstream them as part of our core engineering and innovation efforts. C+E will work closely with ASG to ensure the end-to-end experience is cohesive across communications, collaboration and business processes.
  • Qi Lu will continue to lead the Applications and Services Group (ASG) that is focused on reinventing productivity. This group is leading the charge in building productivity services for digital work that span all devices and appeal to the people who use technology at work and in their personal lives. ASG has already made advancements in these areas, and the only change as part of today’s announcement is that the engineering efforts to build solutions for Educationwill move to ASG.

Changes of this nature require us to look at our leadership structure overall, and as a result a few Senior Leadership Team members will leave Microsoft at the conclusion of a transition period.

When Stephen Elop returned to Microsoft, he oriented MDG to create the best Microsoft experience through its devices, inclusive of hardware, software and services. He has been a strong advocate of the need to drive focus and accountability around the delivery of these experiences and has helped drive tighter alignment toward the ambition of more personal computing. With the structural change described above, Stephen and I have agreed that now is the right time for him to retire from Microsoft. I regret the loss of leadership that this represents, and look forward to seeing where his next destination will be.


Kirill Tatarinov is going to explore what’s next for him. Under Kirill’s leadership, the Dynamics business has grown to a nearly $2 billion business with an ambitious wave of products on the horizon. Perhaps most important though, Kirill and team have shown us that participating in a meaningful way in the CRM and ERP market opens up new opportunities we can uniquely take advantage of by bringing Dynamics into Microsoft’s mainstream engineering, sales and marketing efforts. I am very thankful for Kirill’s unswerving leadership in bringing Dynamics to this point and building a strong leadership team to carry it forward.

After more than 25 years at Microsoft, Eric Rudder has decided to try something new. Eric has played a number of key roles at Microsoft including founding and growing the Server and Tools business in its early days, leading Microsoft Research, and most recently driving our advanced technology and education efforts. I will deeply miss Eric’s passion, technical and business acumen, and keen intellect, and I appreciate all he’s done for Microsoft.

Lastly, a number of months ago, Mark Penn shared with me that he is planning to leave Microsoft in September to form a private equity fund, among other things. Over the years, Mark has leveraged his talents and insights on Microsoft’s behalf. From helping craft a Super Bowl ad and helping design new business and marketing models to his work in data analytics, Mark has helped me set the company on a new course. I’m thankful for the wise strategic counsel Mark has provided, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.

I’ve worked closely with Stephen, Eric, Kirill and Mark and have incredible respect for each of them and wish them well.

I’m counting on our Senior Leadership Team to inspire innovative products and services and lead excellent execution. Our competition and our customers don’t care about our organization structure — they care about innovation. While we are distinctly aligning our engineering structure and core capabilities, our ambitions are interconnected. Success requires all of us — and particularly the Senior Leadership Team — to work across boundaries as one Microsoft and in harmony with our partners. Here’s the new team effective today:

  • Chris Capossela, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer (will now also take on responsibility for Dynamics and Education marketing)
  • Kurt DelBene, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Planning
  • Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise
  • Amy Hood, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Kathleen Hogan, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
  • Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development (will now lead our partnerships with mobile operators around the world)
  • Qi Lu, Executive Vice President, Applications and Services Group
  • Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group
  • Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Technology and Research
  • Brad Smith, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Legal and Corporate Affairs
  • Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer (will also now take responsibility for the Dynamics sales and partner organization)
  • Jill Tracie, Chief of Staff

I’m certain that matching our structure to our strategy will best position us to build products and services our customers love and ultimately drive new growth. Please feel free to send any questions you have to one of the Senior Leadership Team members or me.

Looking forward to what we can do together.


It’s really big for Microsoft to let go an asset like Elop and there have been no clues on what company might he join after this. However, the restructuring of subordinates means a change in direction of the company and what it seems is that Satya Nadella will redirect it towards greater heights with the introduction of new plans and operations. As for now, share your thoughts in the comments about the big news.

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