Stephen Elop, the former CEO of Nokia who headed Microsoft’s devices unit after its acquisition of the Finnish vendor, is leaving the US company as part of a management reshuffle.
A new team headed by Terry Myerson called the Windows and Devices Group (WDG) will combine the existing Operating Systems Group and Microsoft Devices Group (MDG), led by Elop (pictured).
The change leaves Elop, a one-time candidate for the top job at Microsoft, surplus to requirement.
The thinking behind the reshuffle, which in turn elevates Myerson to a powerful position within the company, is to spread Windows as a service across all device types. The new unit will build all Microsoft devices including Surface, HoloLens, Lumia, Surface Hub, Band and Xbox.
“This enables us to create new categories while generating enthusiasm and demand for Windows broadly,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, in an email to all staff.
Nadella also paid tribute to Elop. “When Stephen Elop returned to Microsoft, he oriented MDG to create the best Microsoft experience through its devices, inclusive of hardware, software and services. 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,” Nadella wrote.
Many in Finland express less admiration for Elop, the first non-Finn to head the country’s most prestigious company. His controversial tenure, which saw falling revenue and profit, culminated in the handset vendor’s sale to Microsoft.
Three other senior Microsoft executives are also leaving – Kirill Tatarinov, Eric Rudder and Mark Penn – as part of the same reshuffle. All will leave following an unspecified transition period.
As part of the same changes, Peggy Johnson, executive vice president, business development, will now lead Micrsoft’s partnerships with mobile operators around the world.