Microsoft Pushes Cloud & AI Even Harder
Microsoft is reorganizing into two main divisions, with one focused on experiences and devices and another on cloud and AI platforms, the company announced Thursday.
Scott Guthrie, currently president of the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) cloud and enterprise group, will expand responsibilities to head the new Cloud and AI division. And Jason Zander becomes executive vice president for Microsoft Azure, putting him at the top ranks of the company.
As part of the transition, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of he Windows and Devices group, will "pursue his next chapter outside Microsoft" (corporate-speak for "he's outta there"), after 21 years with the company, according to an email from CEO Satya Nadella to Microsoft employees, posted to the Microsoft website.
Brad Anderson will continue as head of enterprise mobility and management, leading Windows Enterprise deployment and management, "with even tighter alignment across Microsoft 365, partnering closely with the EMS [enterprise mobility and security] teams within Cloud + AI Platform," Nadella says.
Other leadership named in the announcement: Panos Panay becomes chief product officer for Microsoft's first-party devices hardware and software; Joe Belfiore will continue leading Windows; and Kudo Tsunoda will continue to lead new experiences and technology.
Interestingly, the Windows platform team led by Harv Bhela, Henry Sanders and Michael Fortin joins the Azure team headed by Zander, Nadella says. That's a sign of Microsoft's ongoing hybrid cloud strategy; it views Windows, whether on-premises or in the cloud, as part of a unified cloud platform.
"Windows platform is already a core part of Azure across both the cloud and edge, and this shift will enable us to accelerate our efforts to build a unified distributed computing infrastructure and application model," Nadella says.
Cloud has been a growth engine for Microsoft, with commercial cloud revenue hitting $5.3 billion in the quarter reported in January. Azure grew 98% -- the 10th straight quarter of better-than-90% growth for Azure. (See Microsoft's Cloud Bet Keeps Paying Off.)
More details in Nadella's email: "Satya Nadella email to employees: Embracing our future: Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge."
Myerson posted his thoughts on the transition away from Microsoft on LinkedIn: "Thank you for 21 years, and onto the next chapter..."
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— Mitch Wagner Editor, Enterprise Cloud, Light Reading