Stephen Elop may not be Microsoft’s new CEO, but the former head of Nokia is not going unrewarded for bringing the phone manufacturer into the Microsoft fold. According to an internal memo, Elop will replace Julie Larson-Green as the head of Microsoft’s Devices and Studios business, putting him in charge of Xbox, Microsoft Surface, and Microsoft’s game development efforts, in addition to the new cellular handset business. The memo reportedly comes from Julie Larson-Green herself as she takes on a new role: she’s becoming the Chief Experience Officer for the company’s Applications and Services group, managing the look and feel of products like Bing, Office, and Skype.
Wheels within wheels. Elop gets the M$ Devices biz, which is the company’s bid to create the hardware ecology that will run its services. Julie Larson-Green gets shifted (shafted?) back to the look-n-feel stuff, where she gets to straighten out the toxic mess that is Windows 8.whatever.
There was a lot of horserace analysis after the Nadella pick, to the effect that faced with no way forward in M$ for likely years, the losers – all yearning to be CEOs – might jump ship for greener pastures. And nobody was more speculated about that Elop, who already has been a CEO of a major tech corporation.
However, given the arc of Elop’s career from Microsoft to Nokia and then back to Microsoft after selliing his company to them, potential suitors might look askance at taking him on in their top slot. Well, unless they’re hoping that Microsoft will buy them out, of course.
Dunno what to make of the Larson-Green move, though. It could mean anything, or nothing.