Microsoft’s management shuffle of Windows Phone top brass

13 Dec 2011

The Nokia Lumia 710, which began shipping in recent days

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has replaced the head of its Windows Phone business Andy Lees with corporate vice-president Terry Myerson, who will now lead the division.

The move has led to fears all is not well with the Windows Phone strategy, just as Nokia rolls out its second Windows Phone device, the Nokia Lumia 710.

Despite positive reviews, Windows Phone has yet to put a significant dent in the overall market. Perhaps 2012 could be the year.

According to All Things Digital, Lees will still report to Ballmer and will focus on ways Microsoft’s technology will translate across multiple devices.

Myerson will add new responsibilities, such as business development and marketing, to his role.

An internal memo by Ballmer largely praising Lees says Lees has been moved to a new role working on a “time critical opportunity” focused on driving maximum impact in 2012, which suggests perhaps this is not a demotion but a “new challenge.” Confusing.

Then again, the three-screens vision Microsoft has talked up over the past year or so – PC, mobile and TV – may finally be coming to fruition in a year of Windows Phone rollouts, Xbox 360 updates and the impending arrival of Windows 8.

All will become clear … eventually.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years