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Microsoft management reshuffle to encourage more cohesion at top brass


07-12-2013 10:59 BJT

Microsoft has announced a restructuring plan that the head of human resources has called "the biggest thing the company has ever done". But critics are already asking if the plan will have much of an impact.

One Microsoft. That’s the vision of CEO Steve Ballmer and the impetus behind the company’s latest decision to reorganize. The tech giant, that has a reputation for in-fighting, will be streamlining eight product divisions into four and reshuffling management in a bid to encourage more cohesion among its top brass.

In a company memo, CEO Steve Ballmer wrote: "the single core strategy will drive us to set shared goals for everything we do. We will see our product line holistically, not as a set of islands."

The world’s largest software company still reaps hefty profits for its marquee products including Windows and its Office suite. It also has the number one gaming console with the XBox 360. But in the growth areas of technology, it has failed to gain traction against competitors like Amazon, Google and Apple.

While the company could focus on what it does best - software - Ballmer says he wants
more of an emphasis on hardware. Scott Galloway, who owns a tech think tank, says it makes sense.

But will the strategy work This isn’t the first time they’ve set the reboot button. They’ve restructured many times in the past and still haven’t been able to impress investors or consumers with their new products.

Microsoft’s announcement was not a surprise but it seems to have raised more questions than it has answered. At this point it is unclear how the new strategy will impact the company’s existing hardware partners or its more than 100,000 employees. And shareholders will also have to wait and see what impact it will have on its share price that has stagnated over the past decade.

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