Feeds

Microsoft sharpening axe for marketing heads - report

Hundreds of jobs at stake in cultural revolution, say sources

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The weak shall succumb

But what are the chances of a Sinofsky cultural revolution sweeping the bureaucratic body of Microsoft this or any other time? It may come down to how much success and sway those running Microsoft's other product groups claim. One such person is Sataya Nadella, server and tools group president appointed after veteran Bob Muglia's exit in the wake of a 2010 clash with chief executive Steve Ballmer over monetising Azure.

Nadella is considered a strong and consistent performer while S&T has a good track record of delivery, but other groups are not so proud. These include Microsoft's online services division and Windows Phone, which have struggled. Online continues to make a loss under former Yahoo! engineering genius Qi Lu, and Andy Lees was recently shuffled out of his leadership of Windows Phone last year after Microsoft's share of mobile had declined.

Another former senior Microsoft exec who wished to remain anonymous predicted the Sinofsky method will crash over other parts of Microsoft – whether it's needed or not.

"It's only a matter of time that that culture permeates, whether Steven drives it or not, because of the constant culture of engineering talent; every two years you are looking for a new role," the ex-exec told The Reg. "In the last two years, from what I observed from people in server and tools, Windows is the place to be."

This will be helped by the fact the blood at the GM and corporate vice president level is being diluted in the lower ranks by an intake of younger talent that should, over time, move up.

A former Microsoft exec tells us Microsoft had made it a criterion of their annual review to recruit a set number of students straight out of college. He reckons Microsoft last year let go the bottom 10 to 20 per cent of its staff, kept the top 20 per cent and made life "uncomfortable" for the 60 per cent in between. "The plan is to hire in people fresh out of college to get new talent and make Microsoft cool again. It's pretty broad within the company," he says.

A compacting of operations would potentially help Microsoft save money – a big priority since the economy went south, with cuts falling heavily on marketing. Marketing is a fatted cow: former CMG group chief Mich Mathews ran a budget of $1bn across Windows, Bing, Xbox and more. Microsoft spent $13.9bn on sales and marketing in fiscal 2011.

Money gets nothing

Yet, time and again, on awareness at least, Microsoft's brand scores lower than the likes of Apple and Google in surveys of consumer awareness. Now times are even tighter, with sales of PCs – which are responsible for more than $14bn worth of business – stumbling. The sacred cow's finding its pasture reduced.

It is uncertain whether the coming CMG change Bloomberg reports will unleash a Sinofsky revolution on Redmond. A change is certainly coming, however. Whatever happens in the next few weeks, it's significant that the person leading the CMG makeover himself is a newbie: senior vice president Capossela might have worked at Microsoft for 20 years but he spent it mostly in the Office team. Mathews, who was in the role before Capossela took over in April 2011, had joined Redmond 22 years previously to lead the PR team, and had spent her time in communications. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.