- Microsoft notified employees on Wednesday of a big reorganization affecting its Windows and devices businesses.
- Business Insider obtained an email that Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s executive vice president of experiences and devices, sent to employees on Wednesday.
- The head of Microsoft’s fast-growing Teams chat app is retiring.
- The shake-up, effective February 25, includes a big reorganization that merges the Windows experience team and the devices organization into one Windows and devices team.
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The head of Microsoft’s fast-growing Teams chat app is retiring amid a huge shake-up in the company’s Windows and devices businesses, according to an internal memo obtained by Business Insider.
The shake-up, effective February 25, includes a broad reorganization that will merge the Windows experience team and the devices organization into a unified Windows and devices team that reports to Panos Panay, the company’s chief product officer.
“The Windows + Devices Team will drive end-to-end people centered innovation including the entire Windows ecosystem,” Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s executive vice president of experiences and devices, said in the email sent to employees on Wednesday. “The joining of these teams will streamline the decision-making process to help us deliver the best device experience from silicon through the OS for our customers on OEM and Surface Devices.”
Brian MacDonald, the executive who runs Microsoft’s Teams chat app, is retiring, and Jeff Teper, the head of SharePoint and OneDrive, will take over the organization.
“Brian has created multiple product categories — starting as the founder of modern project management in Microsoft Project, bringing together email and personal information management as the founder of Microsoft Outlook and more recently with Microsoft Teams — the fastest growing business application that is a modern productivity hub,” Jha wrote.
MacDonald is known as the “father of Outlook,” Microsoft’s email product. He helped Microsoft develop Teams by taking a small group of engineers to his fruit plantation in Maui.
“In-between writing lines of code, the team spent their days hiking, riding tractors, picking food from the land, all to inspire new ways of thinking about the essence of teamwork, how technology can take collaboration to new levels, and what Microsoft could uniquely offer,” Microsoft said of the creation of Teams. “By the end, they left with the crystallizing idea that they wanted to build a service that made it frictionless for individuals and teams to create, collaborate and ‘work in the open.'”
Teams has more than 20 million daily active users, according to Microsoft — more than its rival Slack, though Slack has taken issue with Microsoft’s accounting because Teams comes with Microsoft 365.
Teper, meanwhile, is known as the “father of Sharepoint.” He’s the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud-based suite of productivity tools.
Teper joined Microsoft in 1992 and runs design, product, and engineering for services such as the core Office applications Word and Excel, the OneDrive file-storage system, and the collaboration platform SharePoint.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier on Wednesday, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reported details of the Windows and devices reorg.
As part of the reorganization, the Microsoft executives Joe Belfiore and Ales Holecek will lead Microsoft’s Office and Office experience group “as a product/engineering duo,” Jha said.
Kirk Koenigsbauer, who Jha said has been running Microsoft 365’s product marketing and customer solutions for its modern-workplace and security division, will report directly to Jha as the chief operating officer of experiences and devices.
Microsoft Corporate Vice President Emma Williams will report directly to Jha and join the experience and devices leadership team. She will also continue to run the Office verticals team and the workplace-intelligence team for Microsoft 365.
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