Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is shuffling its Windows Phone business, moving current division president Andrew Lees to a new role within the organization. AllThingsD reports Microsoft corporate vice president of engineering Terry Myerson will assume Windows Phone business development and marketing responsibilities following the change, although he will not claim Lees' division president title, at least not immediately.
Lees, who spearheaded Windows Phone efforts for more than three years, will still report to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, shifting his focus to expanding the company's products and services across multiple devices. "I have asked Andy Lees to move to a new role working for me on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8," Ballmer wrote in an internal memo obtained by AllThingsD. "We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential."
Despite positive media feedback and increasing developer interest in Windows Phone, the operating system has struggled to make inroads with consumers. Windows Phone and its predecessor Windows Mobile currently make up just 5.7 percent of the U.S. smartphone market according to digital research firm comScore--Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android now powers 46.3 percent of all smartphones nationwide, followed by Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS at 28.1 percent.
Lees' transition heralds the second major Windows Phone leadership change in the last several months. On Sept. 1, Windows Phone Developer Ecosystem general manager Charlie Kindel left Microsoft after 21 years to launch a new company based in the Seattle area. The venture will integrate "sports, advertising, mobile, social-networking and, of course, the cloud," Kindel wrote in a blog entry announcing his departure. Kindel shifted most of his responsibilities to Windows Phone and Marketplace GM Matt Bencke earlier this year.
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