Microsoft has announced a major overhaul of the company’s structure which means Terry Myerson is leaving the company after 21 years. The re-org will see the Microsoft Windows and Devices Group will split into 2 new engineering units: Experiences & Devices and Cloud + AI after a slowing PC market and strong growth for the company in cloud services like Azure. The Experiences and devices will be lead by Executive VP Rajesh Jha, while Cloud and AI will be headed up by the popular guy in the red shirt, Executive VP Scott Guthrie.
Myerson was responsible leading key teams at Microsoft, namely Xbox, Windows, and Windows Phone, as well as the much heralded HoloLens. Responsible for leading over 17,000 engineers and accountable for over $40B in revenue and $5B in operating income, his exit from Microsoft is an important one.
Chief Product Officer is now on Panos Panay’s business card, as he continues to run the Devices division. Joe Belfiore has promised exciting announcements at Build this year as he leads Windows client experience. AI Perception & Mixed Reality Services will be run by Alex Kipman which encompasses the HoloLens team.
Myerson has posted a lengthy blog post over on LinkedIn (owned by Microsoft), where he outlines his successes and struggles over the years.
Myerson offers 3 main takeaways from his time at Microsoft, which are probably great things we all should remember while going about our professional careers.
- Technology really can empower people to do great things. While that may just sound like a soundbite, the last few years I have felt it in new and meaningful ways, making me a real optimist about our future. Amongst so many other things, Windows has been a platform to consider basic human creativity, how students will learn in the future, how surgeons can will operate in the future, and how people who are blind can use their device without a display.
- Broadly define who is on your team. The passion, commitment, and sheer brilliance of the people across Microsoft has kept me inspired for 21 years. I am so proud of the teams I have had the honor to lead. Windows has taught me to appreciate that some of my best teammates are at other companies like Intel, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, AMD, Qualcomm, Samsung, Best Buy, Adobe, Autodesk, Activision, Electronic Arts, and so many others. We have worked together to move the industry forward, creating opportunity for so many along the way.
- Have fun with it. My Microsoft journey has included some challenging days, but I barely remember them. Looking at a photo collection today, I see so many self-deprecating moments where our leaders have had some real fun. I have dressed up as Big Bird, a clown (a few times), Captain Kirk (twice), and Santa. I’ve been thrown in a lake (a few times). I have dressed as Braveheart’s William Wallace and ridden a live horse into a team meeting (once). I have laughed so hard I’ve cried (many times). I will cherish these memories of sheer fun with the team as much as anything else I take away from my 21 years at Microsoft.