Microsoft devices chief Elop to leave company in executive shakeup

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is reshuffling its leadership team, and devices chief Stephen Elop is leaving the company as part of the shakeup. Elop, a Microsoft executive who had been CEO of Nokia, returned to Microsoft when the software giant completed its acquisition of Nokia's handset business in April 2014. 


"We are aligning our engineering efforts and capabilities to deliver on our strategy and, in particular, our three core ambitions," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, referring to reinventing productivity and business processes, building intelligent cloud platform and creating more personal computing. "This change will enable us to deliver better products and services that our customers love at a more rapid pace."

"When Stephen Elop returned to Microsoft, he oriented MDG to create the best Microsoft experience through its devices, inclusive of hardware, software and services," Nadella said in an email to Microsoft employees. "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."

Elop, along with Microsoft executives Kirill Tatarinov and Eric Rudder, will leave Microsoft "after a designated transition period," the company said. Jo Harlow, the head of Microsoft's mobile phone business, is also leaving the company, Microsoft confirmed to The Verge

In June 2014 Microsoft said it would cut around 18,000 jobs across the company, with 12,500 of those cuts coming from former Nokia workers that Microsoft acquired. Since the deal closed, Microsoft has focused on building entry-level and mid-range Lumia-branded Windows smartphones in a bid to gain global market share, though those efforts have not borne much fruit in terms of share gains.

As part of the changes, Terry Myerson will lead a new team at Microsoft called the Windows and Devices Group (WDG), which Microsoft said will enable its "vision of a more personal computing experience powered by the Windows ecosystem." The company will combine the engineering efforts of its current Operating Systems Group and Microsoft Devices Group (MDG) that Elop had led. 

For more:
- see this release release
- see this The Verge article

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