There are reorganizations, and then there are Reorganizations. Microsoft just had one of the latter kinds.
While I don’t follow Microsoft as closely as I do Linux and its companies, I do keep an eye on the Evil Empire and, frankly, and this was quite a shake-up.
Some of these changes didn’t come as any surprise. The only thing that surprised me about the departure of Peter Knook, the senior vice president of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business group, wasn’t that he left; it was that it took that long for him and Microsoft to part ways. Knook wasn’t well regarded outside of Microsoft in the mobile community.
However, the timing-the same week that Microsoft’s launched yet another mobile initiative-is really awful. You’d almost think he’s had something against Microsoft. Or, maybe it was just that new projects such as, oh please, MSN Direct for Mobile, drove him up the wall and out of the company.
But the change I found most interesting was Bill Veghte becoming senior vice president of Online Services & Windows Business Group. That means he’s now numero uno, the Man, the guy in charge of all end-user business strategy, sales and marketing across Windows Client, Windows Live, MSN and Search. Oh, and he still takes some of the responsibility for Microsoft’s OEM biz.
That’s pretty impressive. In the months to come, Microsoft watchers are going to get to know his name almost as well as Steve Ballmer. It’s also pretty weird.
Before this new gig, Veghte was corporate vice president of the Windows Business Group. And just how well has Windows, Vista to be exact, been doing lately in the business space? Vista’s been doing better than it had been, but let’s face it: Vista has been pretty much a flop.
So, is this the man you want to as one of your new top guys? I don’t think so.
You know, I’ve been critical of Microsoft for decades. But, in the past, I could always understand why Microsoft made its decisions. I could, and did, disagree with many of those decisions, but I could always see the logic behind them.
Now it’s another matter. I think Microsoft has to buy Yahoo, or a company similar to Yahoo. But I also think it’s mishandling the deal. As I look at the management changes at Microsoft, I also think it could have, and should have, been handled better.
If I wanted what was best for Microsoft, I’d really begin to wonder about how well Microsoft is going to do with Steve Ballmer at the helm instead of Bill Gates. Maybe the real management change Microsoft needs, if it’s to continue to be the great white shark of software, is to replace Ballmer.
But, hey, Microsoft please don’t listen to me. Keep Ballmer at the top. Please. He’s the best guy for you. Really.