Andy Lees

Andy Lees, the longtime Microsoft executive who oversaw the company’s transition to the new Windows Phone platform, is being replaced as the leader of the division, announced Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in an email to employees this afternoon.

Lees will “move to a new role working for me on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8,” said Ballmer in the email. “We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential.”

Another longtime Microsoft executive, Terry Myerson, will take over as the head of the Windows Phone division.

Ballmer is making the announcement as Microsoft attempts to turn its Windows Phone business around, after seeing its market share slide in the face of competition from Google Android devices and Apple’s iPhone. Microsoft is counting heavily on its partnership with Nokia to help its mobile platform rebound, following the rollout of the new Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” update.

Here’s the full text of the email sent by Ballmer this afternoon.

To: All Microsoft Employees
From: Steve Ballmer
Subj: Leadership Next Steps – Windows Phone
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011

We are driving toward the end of the year with a lot of momentum and buzz, especially in the consumer arena. The new Xbox dashboard is being well received, Kinect and Xbox consoles set a record for Black Friday weekend sales, the Windows Store news from last week delighted developers and partners, Windows Phone 7.5 continues to win reviews, and the Nokia Lumia series has grabbed a ton of attention in Europe, creating anticipation for availability in other geographies next year.

As I look at where we are, what we’ve done, and what we must do in the year ahead, I’m making two leadership changes to ensure we build on our momentum. First, I have asked Andy Lees to move to a new role working for me on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8. We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential.

Second, as Andy takes on these new challenges for the company, Terry Myerson will assume Andy’s existing responsibilities for leading the Windows Phone Division. As many of you know, Terry played a key and highly successful role working with Andy by leading the engineering work on Windows Phone 7 and 7.5. Terry will now be responsible for Windows Phone development, marketing, and other business functions. Because Terry has been so integrally involved in our Windows Phone work already, I’m confident that he can make a seamless transition to this new and broader leadership responsibility.

Both these changes take place immediately.

I want to personally thank Andy for his contributions to the phone team. In the three years Andy has been leading the phone group, we’ve come a long way – we reset our strategy, built a strong team that delivered WP7 and WP7.5 and created critical new partnerships and ecosystem around Windows Phone. That is a ton of progress in a brief period of time, and I’m excited for Terry and team to keep driving forward and for Andy to dig into a new challenge.

It is amazing to pause and look back at what we’ve accomplished as a company this year, from our incredible product momentum to the formation of several powerful partnerships and the overall strength of our leadership team. And you know I’m a look-forward kind of person, so when I look forward to 2012, I see even more opportunity and potential in what we have planned.

Steve

Comments

  • Guest

    Welcome aboard to Terry! I’m glad to see that Steve is still taking a “hands-on” approach to making sure Windows Phone wins the mobile market. It already has the engineering and the enterprise mindshare to be a major threat, so we just need a visionary to seal the deal and come full circle with an entrenchable paradigm.

    • Guest

      He’d better be hands on.  It’ll be his job if WP fails.

    • Guest

      He’d better be hands on.  It’ll be his job if WP fails.

    • Guest

      He’d better be hands on.  It’ll be his job if WP fails.

    • Guest

      He’d better be hands on.  It’ll be his job if WP fails.

    • Guest

      Welcome aboard to Terry! Oh right, you were already aboard. Well welcome up on deck where we can load you into the cannon that we just shot Andy out of. He couldn’t defy gravity but we’re confident you can. I’m glad to see that Steve is taking this “hands-on” approach to winning in the mobile market (which he lost in the first place through his own arrogance and poor management choices) by handing it off to yet another person who has his full confidence. And without even giving him the President title. Nothing says stability, commitment, and confidence quite like that. This is leadership that inspires. Windows Phone already has 75% of the features of its major competitors, the full support of exactly one OEM, no best in class phones, a fraction of the apps, none of the buzz, and 2-3% of the market. Now we just need a visionary, pulled from the ranks of existing executive non-visionaries, to pop it in for the easy victory. High fives all around.

      • Anonymous

        Ah, a Microsoft hater is on our midst.

        All hail the enternal hater of Microsoft and spewer of half false, totally opinionated waste.

      • Guest

        Andy was shot out of a cannon?

        • Guest

          Well shot at least…

          • Guest

            He was shot? That sounds like a crime. Have you informed the authorities?

          • Guest

            No, just Frank Shaw. Figured he’d need to do the usual damage control. Did he write Ballmer’s memo again this time?

          • Guest

            No, it looks like Steve wrote this memo. I don’t see Frank’s or any other typist’s initials on the bottom.

          • Guest

            Maybe Frank is just getting better at hiding his tracks. But i think you’re right. This one is too delusional to be anything other than the real deal.

          • Guest

            If a man named Frank Shaw were to have written this memo, you would see “FS” at the bottom beneath Steve’s signature. Alternatively, Microsoft Outlook would have displayed the from address as “Shaw, Frank on behalf of Ballmer, Steve.”

    • Guest

      Share some of that goodness that you are smoking..”engineering and enterprise minshare” “entrenchable paradigm”.   Sounds like you don’t leave Msft campus much and quote your Power Point presentations….

      • Guest

        You wouldn’t happen to know how to spell “irony,” would you?

  • Guest

    Welcome aboard to Terry! I’m glad to see that Steve is still taking a “hands-on” approach to making sure Windows Phone wins the mobile market. It already has the engineering and the enterprise mindshare to be a major threat, so we just need a visionary to seal the deal and come full circle with an entrenchable paradigm.

  • Guest

    Welcome aboard to Terry! I’m glad to see that Steve is still taking a “hands-on” approach to making sure Windows Phone wins the mobile market. It already has the engineering and the enterprise mindshare to be a major threat, so we just need a visionary to seal the deal and come full circle with an entrenchable paradigm.

  • Guest

    Welcome aboard to Terry! I’m glad to see that Steve is still taking a “hands-on” approach to making sure Windows Phone wins the mobile market. It already has the engineering and the enterprise mindshare to be a major threat, so we just need a visionary to seal the deal and come full circle with an entrenchable paradigm.

  • Anonymous

    That’s great news for Windows Mobile! 

  • Anonymous

    That’s great news for Windows Mobile! 

    • Guest

      What crack are you smoking?  Obviously Andy’s being eased out a la J Allard.  Lumia must be in even worse shape than was feared.

      • Anonymous

        The good news is that Terry is running the show.  Infinitely more capable than any other Windows Phone exec that’s been running that division.

    • Guest

      What crack are you smoking?  Obviously Andy’s being eased out a la J Allard.  Lumia must be in even worse shape than was feared.

  • Anonymous

    That’s great news for Windows Mobile! 

  • Anonymous

    That’s great news for Windows Mobile! 

  • guest

    Shuffling the deckchairs on the Titianic? 

    • Guest

      Original.

    • Guest

      Original.

    • Guest

      Original.

    • Guest

      Original.

  • guest

    Shuffling the deckchairs on the Titianic? 

  • guest

    Shuffling the deckchairs on the Titianic? 

  • Guest

    WP will report to Sinofsky before then end of 2012.

  • Guest

    WP will report to Sinofsky before then end of 2012.

  • Guest

    WP will report to Sinofsky before then end of 2012.

  • Guest

    WP will report to Sinofsky before then end of 2012.

  • http://blog.findwell.com Kevin Lisota

    Remains the hottest seat in MSFT senior management roles.

    • Bob

      That’s because the real person who should be ejected, Ballmer, has an immunity idol supplied from Gates hanging off his.

  • Guest

    “In the three years Andy has been leading the phone group, we’ve come a long way”

    Yes, sort of like the German army between 1941 and 44.

  • Guest
    • Guest

      An un-sourced article from Apple fanboy site the Verge? LOL. Try harder, shill.

    • Tseug

      Interesting read. Thanks for sharing…

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