We are hearing about a very big senior management shake-up at Microsoft. Two well known senior Microsoft executives, Tami Reller and Tony Bates, are said to be leaving the company. These two employees were the executive vice-president of marketing and the executive vice-president of business development, respectively. Also, as part of the reshuffle, former Clinton family aide Mark Penn becomes chief strategy officer. This represents the biggest upper management change since new CEO Satya Nadella took the reins early last month.
Mark Penn had, until now, been working as an executive vice president at Microsoft, overseeing advertising and strategy. While his background is in political matters the New York Times notes that Penn became "a trusted adviser to Mr. Ballmer," and it looks like he will become just as important to Nadella.
It's not clear whether Penn's change of function is an upwards or just a sideways promotion as he was previously in charge of Microsoft's huge advertising budget. While you might not be familiar with his name the NYT says that Penn was behind the controversial 'Scroogled' advertising campaigns.
As VP of marketing Tami Reller was was one of Microsoft's top female executives. Her marketing job will be stepped into by marketing executive Chris Capossela who will also pick up advertising duties vacated by Penn's shift.
Tony Bates, the former Skype CEO and Microsoft's VP of business development, will be replaced by Eric Rudder who was an executive vice president of advanced strategy. Bates was named as a possible CEO candidate during the recent search. I notice that Bates will be leaving immediately while Reller will stay on to ease the transition.
Microsoft is expected to officially confirm the reshuffle tomorrow and has declined to comment on any reports so far.