It’s been almost a month since Satya Nadella was named CEO of Microsoft, and he is starting to shape the leadership of his new reign with some management reshuffling.
Mark Penn, a former aide to the Clinton family and until now an executive VP of advertising and strategy at Microsoft, is the company’s new CSO. Penn worked on Hillary Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential campaign and was the man behind Microsoft’s “Scroogled” advertising campaign against Google last year, as well as the “Empowering” commercial that ran during the Super Bowl.
Penn, who became a trusted adviser for Steve Ballmer since joining the company in July 2012, will focus on strategy in his new role, looking at product areas and strategic investments for Microsoft, according to re/code.
On the other end of the spectrum, former Skype head and one-time CEO candidate Tony Bates is leaving the company. He’ll be replaced by advanced strategy head Eric Rudder as executive vice president of business development, strategy and evangelism, according to Bloomberg. Executive vice president of marketing Tami Reller is also on the way out, and will be replaced by CMO Chris Capossela.
Rob Enderle, principal analyst at The Enderle Group, believes these moves to restructure Microsoft’s senior leadership put Nadella in a position to better control the company’s image. “One of the first things a new CEO must do to be successful is build a team loyal to them, and the most critical part of that new team has to do with how he or she controls the image of the company,” he said.
“These changes showcase that Nadella understands that he needs much better control over Microsoft’s image than Ballmer did and the resources to fight back against Google, which is systematically destroying Microsoft’s ability to compete. An advantage with an internal candidate is that they typically can hit the ground running, because they already know what big problems need to be corrected first. The fact that Nadella understands [that] one of the biggest [problems] is Microsoft’s image bodes well for him as a new CEO.”