Terry Myerson Flexes His Muscle, Removes Sinofsky’s Lieutenants From Power

While the Ballmer’s big re-org will not be fully implemented until the release of Windows Phone Blue, some parts are starting to take shape.  Myerson who has been in charge of the OS Engineering Group for two months now has decided to do a clean sweep of the management and will now have seven people that will report directly to him.

When Sinofsky left, his job was split in two between his right hand girl Julie Larson-Greene and Tami Reller.  With the re-org, Reller moved to oversee marketing and Larson-Greene went to oversee Devices and Studios.  Reller and Larson-Green report directly to Ballmer.  With the acquisition of Nokia Stephen Elop overtakes Julie’s current position, and she reports to Elop.  If Elop becomes CEO she may get her old job back, or a new CEO could shake things up again with new management.

Myerson has removed some of Sinofsky’s other lieutenants from power including Grant George, Antoine Leblond and Jon DeVaan.  You may recall Antoine Leblond came to power after Michael Angiulo got in trouble for rapping about “fucking two bitches at the same time” with Too Short for his 40th birthday bash put together by his wife.  Sources have told me the three will stay with the company for now and will make a decision regarding their futures after a new CEO is chosen.

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Jeff Sandquist who rose through the company ranks to eventually become Senior Director of Developer Relations will be leaving the company to join as Twitter’s Director of Platform Partnerships.  A source told me, Sandquist has spent a lot of time working on special projects recently and was concerned about his future as new management was coming in.  The lure of Twitter stock (considering their upcoming IPO) was just something he could not resist and he jumped ship.  Sandquist isn’t the only one who has left Microsoft for the concerns over new management and lure of stock bonuses and other incentives.  Two notable ex-Microsoft employees Surupa Biswas (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/surupa-biswas/3/641/b08) and Lenn Pryor (http://www.linkedin.com/in/lennpryor) have left for Facebook.

Myseron has chosen Joe Belfiore is going to head up a cross PC-phone-tablets team.  He has also picked Marc Whitten to head up the TV and large screen team; he will retain his position overseeing Xbox Live.  Chris Jones will continue to head up OS services including SkyDrive.  Heading development will be Henry Sanders, who had worked with Myerson on Windows Phone. David Treadwell from the Xbox team will lead product management for the OS group, and Mike Fortin from Windows will head up test and quality. 

It is no accident Treadwell, Fortin, and Sanders are together again.  They are all former members of the Core Operating System Division (COSD).  Jon DeVaan was formerly in charge of this group, and it was initially put together under Jim Allchin. 

Dean Hachamovitch will retain his role as head of Internet Explorer and currently reports directly to Ballmer.  It is unclear as to who he will end up reporting to in the future and he remains a relatively powerful person within Microsoft at this time. 

Sources tell me that Myerson, Larson-Green, Qi Lu, Kirill Tatarinov, and Reller are not seriously being considered for the role of CEO put may go through the formalities of the process.  Instead, the board is looking for a CEO who would work with these six leaders and continue part of Ballmer’s vision for at least three years.

About the author  ⁄ Suril Amin

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • Guest

    Great article. Nice to see someone actually doing some homework and talking to inside sources. I’m mixed about the WP guys taking over Windows. Myerson is certainly saying all the right things, but his track record delivering them in the WP group is not good. They can’t seem to ship much of anything there lately. But maybe he has the power now to makes things happen. We’ll see. And yeah, I don’t think any of the internal people are being seriously considered for CEO.

    • arrow2010

      Maybe his track record doesn’t seem so good because he’s been held back by senior management like Sinofsky?

      • Guest

        Got any actual insight, or just spouting more of your brain farts?

      • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

        So my Myerson was picked to head up the Windows Phone team his direct boss was Andy Lees whose only boss was Ballmer himself. Lees was demoted with the release of Mango (Win Pho 7.5). He went to head up some bullshit position of cross-integration between Win Pho & Win8 before taking a leave of absence.

        So essentially Myerson has reported directly to Ballmer for two years now. Myerson isn’t being held back by senior management, he IS senior management.

    • MSFTmanJosh

      Maybe the WP and Windows OS will be more in sync

      • Guest

        Sync, yes. Faster, unknown.

    • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

      I tend to agree with your concerns regarding Myerson, I did voice briefly them some time ago here: http://wmpoweruser.com/ballmer-to-combine-windows-windows-phone-divisions/

      There is a rather complex explanation of why Terry Myerson is in the position is he today and I may have to write a post about it sometime. However I’ll just say, he isn’t someone who was rather politically savvy or one that likes talking to press. And because of that the perception of him is slightly worse than it realty should be.

      • Guest

        Yeah, I followed the whole WM->WP clusterfuck. So I know the history. He’s well liked internally and has the respect of some notable ex MS senior managers. All I can do is judge him by his record, which so far is not good, and his public comments, which on several occasions have been full of unwarranted arrogance and condescension for competitors. I’d prefer someone who’d stfu and start demonstrating their superiority by shipping products that blow users away. It’s not clear yet that he’s that person.

  • Liberal Republic

    This guy should be fired from the company for screwing up WP. Even after wasting billions on the platform he was slow in delivering results. The updates were painfully slow. The platform was very restrictive and it took Nokia to push MS to add new hardware capabilities. 1080p should have come last year. Where is HDMI output? Unified notification center should have been in WP7. I cant believe the idiot who could not predict the future and cant see the present has become the head of the most important division. This ass will screw everything he touches. Its not Midas touch but Myers touch. Midas touch turns into gold and Myers touch turns into ash.

    • arrow2010

      You are mistaken in assuming that he has had all the resources needed to accomplish everything by 2012.

      • Yuan Taizong

        Exactly, Windows Phone’s major flaw was lack of recourses and lack of time, of-course it’s a market where you have to act quick or another player would’ve already ”filled your gap”, but Windows Phone 7, if it had all the time and recourses it needed could’ve been compatible with Windows Mobilw 6.5 as they were both Windows C.E. and could’ve continued the old model with the new system, thus making it easier to move from the old to the new, and then once again when Windows Phone 8 came out, but as you know the story, they didn’t have this luxury, they were plagued with impossible deadlines, and it was pretty much an incomplete O.S. until Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) came out later.

        Windows Phone 8’s development took longer, and it’s power was that it could/can do everything Windows Phone 7.X can do, despite being on a different kernel and having different code and the same code, if Microsoft would’ve used the same effort and money they could’ve done it for W.P.7 too, but their simply wasn’t enough time and money to-do-so.

    • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

      I think a major mistake made by the Windows Phone team was choosing to re-use Windows CE and going with Silverlight. The dream of managed code has been tried a couple times under Microsoft and failed each time. .NET, Vista, Silverlight, and Windows Phone.

      What people fail to realize is when WP8 came out it was essentially a re-writing of most of the operating system (excluding core kernel) and emulating the rest in a bastardized way,

      Sinofsky was rather unique with his vision for Windows 8 in not going the route of managed code and going with native code instead.

      So I don’t think Myerson is bad as you paint him to be, but yeah I sure as hell would have rather had Sinofsky overseeing Windows and Windows Phone.

  • WebUser

    Didn’t know you have some insider connections.

    Regarding CEO, I don’t think there is ever a question. Its being silly thinking about anyone else. However, I want to mention a while ago, like late last year, just after Windows 8 release. WSJ had a interview with Larson-Green. She was asked if she would consider a CEO job in MSFT, (that was a weird question! but the answer is even more..), she said, ask me a year later. I may have misread that, but as far as I understand, that was something usual. Then no one had talked about it. But that was long before the Nokia purchase.

    About progress, I do feel some serious slow down recently. Last year there was Nodo, Mango, Apollo, excitement all year long. Apollo was very hard, that was rewriting the who OS. I actually expect a lot more than GDR1,2,3. Those 3 together sounds like less than Mango alone. Maybe all the work is putting into WP8.1.

    • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

      When you have an organization as large as Microsoft’s, everybody has some sources lol. But most people’s are better than mine haha.

  • SategB

    “his right hand girl Julie Larson-Greene” quite derogatory sexiest statement – Suril your should be better then this, I know your smarter then this.

    • Bugbog

      Just trying to pick a fight, huh? Let’s turn this around and call You the sexiest , for not thinking the common phrase “right-hand man” shouldn’t be applied to women!

      • Yuan Taizong

        I personally don’t see how anything was wrong with that statement too, I find it irritating when people yell out ”¡that’s sexist!” for simple phrasing, the women who made it at Microsoft got their because they’re talented, not because they’re women, just like being a man doesn’t give you any advantages in life, talents, skills, experience, money and others do, this is what Julie has, not her sex.

      • Frobozz

        girl: noun, a female child.

        You don’t call a 51-year-old woman a female child unless you’re intentionally trying to insult her. If any of you work with women professionally, you might want to take note of that.

        • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

          Actually true feminists do like the term “woman” or “female” because it contains the terms “man” and “male” in them. They are perfectly fine with “girl” though. Herstory is also preferred to “history.” I guess you can please one set of feminists but anger another…

          • Malcolm Williams

            dude…you’re making crap up now. Please stop before you hurt yourself…

            That has zero to do with womanism or feminism in any sense of the word…

          • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin
          • Malcolm Williams

            Herstory is nothing short of a term used to describe an extreme of feminism just as neo republican is used to describe a modern form of republican belief.

            Very few feminists/womanists even follow the herstory doctrine…very few

            And the reason why is because it is a debated subject amongst the largest feminist proponents.

            That said if it is a debated point even amongst feminists, is it a good idea to bring it in a discussion like this?

            In this regard, it just sounds like bolstering a point of view like the person that says hi I have xyz friend to not sound racist.

            Way to go…

            On topic, however, it is a shame that some of sinofsky’s people are moved from the company in different roles. Who knows if this is worth it for Microsoft in the long run.

            But as long as elop isn’t running this,…

    • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

      No disrespect intended. If Sinofsky had a right hand man I would said that too. But Julie was Sinofsky’s right hand girl (woman w/e). She rose up with him starting in the Office team. When Sinofsky went to public events to showcase Windows, she was always there.

      I’m really against being “politically correct,” I think you’re just being over-sensitive in this case.

    • Guest

      He probably should have said “woman”. But it clearly wasn’t intended as sexist, unless someone is hyper sensitive or, like you, a demonstrated troll just looking for an excuse to crap over a post. Oh, and it’s “you’re smarter”, not your. Pro tip: don’t question someone’s intelligence while making grade school spelling mistakes.

    • scotthumble

      Julie Larson-Greene is an exceptionally bright and driven professional of the highest caliber. When she walks in a room with a bunch of Microsoft partners, it is face forward and arms crossed from one end to the other. With that said, this does seem to be a little off but I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t give this a second thought.

  • Yuan Taizong

    My fear with an external C.E.O. would be that (s)he’d discontinue Ballmer’s vision and do what the shareholders tell him/her to-do by selling off key-components of Windows and Office like Xbox (including Xbox LIVE), Bing, the M.S.N., Microsoft Lync and other ”toys” in the eyes of the people that fail to see any innovations coming from those area’s and there will probably short-term money makers that’ll say that Windows is better without the Metro and will make a new Windows 7 just to be mainstream and other things we hear speculation about, it’s really sad to see Ballmer leave in such a turning point at Microsoft, he was going in the right direction and his successor might turn that around and go for the Microsoft the media claims it is (just an Office & Windows company with no inherent relevance for consumers and only ”a neccessary evil” for business software, as they’d like to put it).

    • nickcraze

      I agree. It’s funny that these “shareholders” only concentrate in short term gains and not long term. Heck if it was for the shareholder they would probably do away with the Research Division.

  • reKitab

    He should had gotten screwed earlier, IMFO:)

  • Asymgo

    Good for Terry – to much dead weight in the company – it is too bad he can’t get Ballmer out faster!

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