Feeds

Microsoft sharpening axe for marketing heads - report

Hundreds of jobs at stake in cultural revolution, say sources

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.