Julie Larson-Green, a longtime Microsoft engineering executive, has stepped down from her position as leader of the Office Experience Organization as she recovers from spinal cord surgery, but says she will remain with the company in a different capacity.
Larson-Green is a former Windows and Office executive who had led Microsoft hardware development as the top executive in the company’s Devices and Studios Group, before shifting to a role as chief experience officer in the Applications and Services Group in 2014. Later, she added the role as head of the Office Experience Organization. She’s now returning to that earlier role of chief experience officer.
Larson-Green told GeekWire via email that she’s expected to make a full recovery. However, based on discussions with her doctor, she decided a change was needed to focus more fully on her recovery and physical therapy.
In a statement released by the company Monday evening, she called it “a very difficult choice.”
“It’s been challenging to continue to lead the Office Experience Organization and dedicate the required time to my rehabilitation. It’s going to take some time for my recovery from my spinal surgery but I’m excited to continue to represent Microsoft and push the boundaries of how the company reimagines productivity,” she said in the statement.
She added, “I want the best for the team and know everyone will continue to deliver on our vision for Office. I have been fully supported to continue my role as CXO, representing Microsoft at key events and providing guidance on how we can continue to achieve our goals.”
In an unrelated move, Microsoft Research vice president Jeannette Wing announced Monday that she’s leaving the Redmond company to lead Columbia University’s Data Science Institute starting in early July.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has sought to promote and hire more women into senior leadership positions. Larson-Green will remain part of the Office Product Group leadership team. The news of her role change was announced internally in April and first reported Monday by The Information. Wired once called Larson-Green the “heir apparent” to then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Several of the Office Experience Organization teams that previously reported to Larson-Green will now report to Microsoft executive Jeff Teper, who reports to Rajesh Jha, executive vice president of the Office Product Group.