Last Windows 8 mastermind, former Skype CEO leaving Microsoft, reports say
By Ian Paul
PCWorldMar 3, 2014 8:05 am PST
Executive shakeups often aren’t usually anything worth getting excited about. But when those shakeups see the former CEO of Skype and one of the few remaining members of the Windows 8 leadership team leaving Microsoft… well, sometimes those changes are worth noticing.
Microsoft is expected to announce Tuesday that executive vice president of marketing Tami Reller (pictured above) is leaving the company, according to Recode. Reller was a longtime member of the Windows team and briefly in charge of the flagship division, splitting duties with Julie Larson-Green.
There are of course many reasons why executives might leave Microsoft. To hear Recode tell it, Reller’s most recent job pit her in a rivalry against the executive vice president of advertising and strategy, Mark Penn—a situation that became increasingly uncomfortable. That said, it’s notable that a chunk of the team behind the struggling and problematic Windows 8 has been slowly trickling out of the company.
The new job casts her into the newly created chief experience officer role for the Applications and Services group. As a result of the move, Larson-Green will no longer be part of Microsoft’s inner circle, known as the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), according to Recode.
Buh-bye, Bates, hello Penn
Along with Reller, Tony Bates is also expected to leave Microsoft.
Bates, who came to Microsoft with the Skype acquisition, was one of the top candidates to replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO. With the top job now in the hands of Satya Nadella, it’s not a big shock to see someone like Bates exit the company.
The other notable shakeup this week is that Mark Penn’s role at Microsoft is also changing. A former Clinton political strategist, Penn’s biggest claim to fame at Microsoft was the Scroogled campaign that was aggressively critical of Google.
Penn is moving on from his pugilistic role to become Microsoft’s chief strategy officer, according to Bloomberg. Penn’s focus will be to look for new product areas and strategic investments, Recode says, shifting him away from the marketing department.