Microsoft devices chief Julie Larson-Green takes on new role, will be replaced by Nokia’s Stephen Elop

julielarsongreenJulie Larson-Green, the former Windows executive who most recently led Microsoft hardware development as the top executive in the company’s Devices and Studios Group, is moving to a new role in the company’s Applications and Services Group.

Larson-Green will become chief experience officer for products including Bing, Office and Skype, among others products. She’ll report to Qi Lu, the executive vice president who leads the Applications and Services Group.

Her role leading the company’s Devices & Studios Group will be filled by Stephen Elop, the Nokia executive who is rejoining Microsoft as part of the Redmond company’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business. Larson-Green will remain in the Devices & Studios Group — which includes Xbox, Surface and other hardware products — until the Nokia acquisition closes. That is expected to happen this quarter.

Here’s the internal email that Larson-Green sent out to announce the change. We weren’t able to get ahold of the referenced emails from Lu or Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. [Follow-up: Internal memo: Microsoft names leaders for key Applications & Services Group.]

From: Julie Larson-Green
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014
Subject: FW: ASG Organizational Announcement

Team,

As you will read in the notes below from Qi and Satya, I’ve accepted a new challenge, leading the My Life & Work team in ASG and serving as the Chief Experience Officer (CXO). As hard as it is for me to leave Devices & Studios, I’m thrilled about this opportunity. In working with company leaders this year to establish our One Microsoft vision and plan, I thought about ways I could have impact on helping Microsoft prepare for the future and innovate. My discussions with Satya and Qi made clear this is a critical space to drive new thinking and an essential way to help the shape the company’s direction.  I’m looking forward to developing the Digital Life & Digital Work Experience Substrate that powers modern digital experiences regardless of device, as well as working across ASG to strengthen customer experiences.

I want to thank each and every one of you for welcoming me and supporting me as the leader of Devices & Studios over the past 7 months. I’m very proud of what we have accomplished during such a short timeframe.  We launched Xbox One, Surface 2 & Pro 2, blockbuster games like Forza and Ryse, a brand new Xbox Music and Video service, PPI, and some amazing unannounced innovations just to name a few – incredibly impressive!

Our opportunity to grow as a world-class devices and experiences company is greater than ever, and I have every belief that as One Microsoft we’re on the right path. The addition of Nokia Devices & Services into the DnS family will add tremendous scale, talent and opportunity for our future.

I’ll remain in role leading the DnS organization in the interim until the Nokia deal closes and Stephen Elop makes his transition to Microsoft. We’ve been meeting regularly throughout and are making a lot of progress, ensuring our teams are ready for the Day 1 close and beyond.

You are all in great hands with Stephen and already we’ve shared a lot with him and his LT from Nokia regarding all of the fantastic people, teams and products in DnS. I also know many of you are looking forward to welcoming the Nokia team and working more closely with them.

As I look to the future, I’m reminded of a favorite Chinese proverb: “To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”

I encourage you all to stay focused on the journey and opportunities ahead, and know that I’ll be there in step with you as we launch the next chapter of Microsoft.

Thank you,

Julie

  • Larry McKoder

    Julie Larson Green was responsible for the User Experience of Windows 8, which is one of the biggest disasters in UX history. So now she is the “CXO”? WTF? Microsoft just doesn’t get it.

    • John

      Wrong. She was responsible for the design of windows 7 and office 2007/2010/2013. Her boss Steven Sinofsky(spelt that wrong) was responsible for windows 8.

      • Larry McKoder

        Sinofsky was responsible for Windows 8 overall, and Julie Larson Green worked for Sinofsky and was in charge of UX of Windows 8. She did a disastrous job.

  • Cashrulesmostthingsaroundme

    So a question that really shouldn’t matter, but I guess I’m gossipy. Is this a demotion, a promotion, something else? She was on the initial discussion for new CEO and this role seems less important and has her reporting further away from the top spot. Is this a move to appease Elop? Is she really just taking on a new challenge and when you are at the top of a company like Microsoft the title doesn’t really matter.

    • guest

      Demontion. Simple as that.

      Xbox, be afraid….be very afraid.

    • fteoOpty64

      You might just be right. This move was the appease Elop but what is dangerous is now Elop owns Xbox. A service he has no clue about and a potential he will screw it up. Maybe Elop is given a chance to either prove himself of work an exit he wants.
      The hindsight is that had Nokia gone Android, it might have been number two spot today in the market, but it had to make the most risky move on a mobile OS to get to the last spot.

  • Meredith76

    The ridiculous plastic surgery that Julie Larson Green has makes it tough to look at her. Please use a different photo. Maybe Pre-op?

    • Azuredrak

      Assuming that we can (and need to) clean up the photo, there’s still nothing we can do about the filth spewing forth from your mind. See which is more serious now? Meredith76.

  • Bonnie

    Is it her fault they made too many Surface 1s and not enough Surface 2s?

  • Andrew Otterneck

    This letter seems like it was written to be leaked.

  • Bogdan Gheorghe

    Oh crap! Elop to devices ?!? WTF? The guy who said he wants to kill Xbox?:|

    • fourthletter

      He didn’t want to kill it – he wanted it spun off as a separate company (with MS still the majority owner)

      • Bogdan Gheorghe

        Oh I see. My bad.

  • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

    My read between the lines: you can always tell what an exec move at MSFT is by keeping in mind that real power is measured in two ways: numbers of people that roll up to you and revenue that your product brings in.

    It’s also a tip off when someone gets moved to a role that didn’t exist before (e.g. Andy Lees).

    By all those measures, my read is that she’s been put out to pasture. This is essentially a “VP of pencil sharpening” position. I don’t see any effective power here. Unless she stages a comeback (and the only person who’s ever staged any semblance of a comeback from something like this is Eric Rudder) this is probably the last you’ll really hear of her.

    I presume this is Elop’s prize for losing the CEO race. Though honestly it would be smart all the way around to let him go. Nadella shouldn’t trust him and he shouldn’t trust Nadella.

    • DickMove

      The “put out to pasture” move so soon after she was promoted to such a prominent exec position by Ballmer also says a LOT about his decision making and how it couldn’t possibly have been based on merit. ESPECIALLY if “this is probably the last you’ll really hear of her”. Nadella wouldn’t completely sacrifice real talent just to appease someone “for losing the CEO race”.

  • timaiday

    Elop sux. Elop destroyed Nokia. He took it to the bottom. After he sold sold Nokia to MS and left. The stock went up over 100%.

    I was a Nokia holder. I’m still mad at him. I couldn’t bare the lost and sold my shares before he sold Nokia device to MS. I guess life is all about “it’s who you know”.

    • Duh

      Those who said from the beginning that Elop was a Trojan were ridiculed in forums. Denial is a dangerous state of mind.

  • WinMetro

    Don’t just demote her, send her kicking and screaming back to the kitchen where she belongs! She deserves to be sent back after helping commit terrible crimes to humanity by cooking up Windows 8 and taking away the Start menu! http://i.imgur.com/V0BOE4O.jpg