Microsoft's Elop, Penn Departing In Latest Executive Leadership Reshuffling

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Microsoft on Wednesday revealed a management reorganization in which some longtime senior executives will be departing, while others will be getting larger roles within the company.

The list of departing executives: Stephen Elop, executive vice president of Microsoft's Devices group; Kirill Tatarinov, head of Microsoft's Business Solutions Group; Eric Rudder, chief of advanced strategy; and Mark Penn, a former political adviser to former President Bill Clinton who held the role of chief insights officer.

The changes in organization and leadership, detailed by CEO Satya Nadella in an email to employees posted on the company website, are effective immediately, and the departing executives are leaving after a transition period (with the exception of Penn, who is leaving in September for another role).

[Related: Microsoft Entices Startups With Free Azure Cloud Credits]

While Microsoft partners told CRN they're not surprised by the departure of Elop, the former CEO of Nokia, the fact that Rudder is leaving after 25 years at Microsoft was unexpected.

One Microsoft partner described Rudder as "an extremely smart technologist" who was like a "right-hand man" to Chairman Bill Gates. "When Rudder and Gates were in a room together, they could invent something new just by brainstorming together," said the partner, who didn't want to be named.

Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., is also moving the development teams behind its Dynamics business, which includes CRM and ERP products, to its Cloud and Enterprise group, Nadella said in the email to employees.

Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, who oversees the software giant's channel, will also take over responsibility for the Dynamics business sales and partner organization.

While Dynamics partners will still operate autonomously from the rest of the channel, Microsoft partners told CRN they're pleased to see Dynamics moving into Microsoft's cloud division.

"Microsoft has been preaching the mobile-first, cloud-first message, and this is evidence that it's really serious about it," Jeff Chandler, president of Fairfax, Va.-based Microsoft partner American Technology Services, told CRN. "Partners have been embracing Sharepoint and OneDrive, so the next big wave will be integrating apps like Dynamics into a full-feature cloud offering."

Robby Hill, founder and CEO of HillSouth, a Florence, S.C.-based Microsoft partner, said partners will benefit from the move of the Dynamics business into the Cloud and Enterprise business.

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