Nokia's Ex-CEO Stephen Elop Leaving Microsoft

Terry Myerson will take the place of Stephen Elop as head of Microsoft's hardware division. Elop is the former CEO of Nokia.

Stephen Elop

Microsoft is in the midst of an organizational shake-up that will see the departures of top executives including Stephen Elop, former CEO of Nokia.

In a June 17 email to Microsoft employees, CEO Satya Nadella announced the imminent departure of Elop (pictured), executive vice president of the company's Devices Group. As part of a reorganization that winnows Microsoft's engineering efforts down into three groups, Nadella said, "Stephen and I have agreed that now is the right time for him to retire from Microsoft. I regret the loss of leadership that this represents, and look forward to seeing where his next destination will be."

Stephen Elop led Microsoft's business software division before leaving to take the helm of Nokia in September 2010 as the cell phone maker's CEO. Elop returned to Microsoft when the Redmond, Wash., technology giant acquired Nokia for $7 billion in a prolonged transaction first announced on Sept. 2, 2013.

The move comes nearly a year after the company kicked off a sweeping round of layoffs, ultimately affecting 14 percent of its workforce. Of the 18,000 jobs the company shed, most came from the acquired Nokia handset business. In March 2014, nearly a month after taking the helm at Microsoft, Nadella presided over the departures of Tony Bates, former CEO of Skype, and Tami Reller, who served as both the company's chief marketing officer and chief financial officer.

Also leaving the company are Kirill Tatarinov of the Dynamics CRM and ERP business, and Eric Rudder, a long-time employee and former head of Microsoft Research. Chief Insight Officer Mark Penn is leaving in September to start a private equity fund. "I've worked closely with Stephen, Eric, Kirill and Mark and have incredible respect for each of them and wish them well," Nadella said.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Microsoft Operating Systems group, will head up the newly formed Windows and Devices Group (WDG). "This new team brings together all the engineering capability required to drive breakthrough innovations that will propel the Windows ecosystem forward," Nadella said. "WDG will drive Windows as a service across devices of all types and build all of our Microsoft devices, including Surface, HoloLens, Lumia, Surface Hub, Band and Xbox."

Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise (C+E) team still falls under Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie, but with Dynamics in tow. "Today, we are also moving the development teams who build our Dynamics products to C+E, which will enable us to accelerate our ERP and CRM work even further and mainstream them as part of our core engineering and innovation efforts," stated Nadella. Qi Lu will remain at his post as executive vice president of Microsoft Applications and Services.

"We are aligning our engineering efforts and capabilities to deliver on our strategy and, in particular, our three core ambitions," said Nadella in a separate statement to the press. "This change will enable us to deliver better products and services that our customers love at a more rapid pace."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...