Microsoft's Devices and Studios Head To Step Aside for Elop
Microsoft's Devices and Studios Group Head Julie Larson-Green will move to a different division at the company once former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop rejoins Microsoft.
Larson-Green made the announcement in an internal memo dated Feb. 24. In the memo, which is posted on several media outlets, Larson-Green said she will leave the Devices and Studios group when Elop, also a former Microsoft president, "makes his transition to Microsoft" after the Nokia purchase is finalized. Microsoft is set to acquire Nokia's device business in a $7 billion deal that is expected to close sometime this quarter.
Initially, Larson-Green had been expected to stay with the Devices and Studios group even after Elop rejoined the company. Under the terms of the Nokia deal announced in September, Elop would return to Microsoft to take over the reins of the Devices and Studios group, with Larson-Green reporting to him.
Instead, she will be moving to Microsoft's Applications and Services Engineering group as the chief experience officer of the "My Life and Work" team, according to the memo. She will report to Qi Lu, executive vice president of Applications and Services Engineering.
"As hard as it is for me to leave Devices & Studios, I'm thrilled about this opportunity," Larson-Green wrote. "My discussions with Satya [Nadella, Microsoft's newly appointed CEO] and Qi made clear this is a critical space to drive new thinking and an essential way to help the shape the company's direction."
The Applications and Services Engineering group is responsible for the development of key Microsoft products, including Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Yammer, Lync and Skype.
Both the Applications and Services Engineering and the Devices and Studios groups were created as part of last summer's "One Microsoft" reorganization, which was spearheaded by then-CEO Steve Ballmer. Larson-Green, a 20-year Microsoft veteran, was one of several executives that were promoted to division-leading roles in the reorg. As head of the Devices and Studios group, Larson-Green oversaw the hardware development of Microsoft's Xbox and Surface properties, as well as the development of Microsoft's games and entertainment software.
Prior to that, she was notably tapped to lead Windows hardware and software engineering after Steven Sinofsky, then-president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live group, abruptly left the company in 2012.