Feeds

Departing Ballmer shakes up Microsoft's top engineering boffins

Old dog to perform new tricks as master leaves

The essential guide to IT transformation

Steve Ballmer has shuffled some Microsoft top boffins around, using his closing days as CEO to cement his massive summer re-org.

Harry Shum, Bing engineering chief and ex Microsoft Research managing director for Asia, has been named executive vice president of technology and research.

Shum replaces Eric Rudder who has been shifted to a newly created position of executive vice president advanced strategy. Rudder’s position was used to tighten the link between Microsoft Research and Microsoft’s product operations.

In a memo announcing the change, Ballmer said of Shum: “He is uniquely positioned to drive exceptional forward-thinking research that pushes the frontiers of computer science, while also driving impactful technology transfer through deep connections with our business teams.”

Rudder will be responsible for leading “key, cross-company technology initiatives.”

Both executives will report to Ballmer – for now, until he goes. Bing engineers who previously reported to Shim will now report to Bing chief Qi Lu on an interim basis.

Changes take effect from the middle of next month.

Putting Shum in Rudder’s old position sounds like a swapping out of the old guard to turn Microsoft into a company capable of harnessing innovation and turning Microsoft into more of a web and devices player. That was, after all, supposed to be the reason for this summer's break up of the existing product-group silos and embrace a less rigid structure that fostered innovation under a new "one Microsoft" operation.

That swapping of the old guard this week has seen Internet Explorer chief Dean Hachamovitch moved out with Windows Phone program management and design vice president Joe Belfiore adding IE to his roster of duties.

A Microsoft veteran, Rudder joined the company in the early 1990s. He served in numerous positions that included head of Trustworthy Computing, the Technology Policy Group, Server and Tools, platform evangelism and Visual Studio.

Rudder’s name was once dropped as possible successor to Ballmer and Bill Gates, leading the company.

But from being a high-profile player Rudder stayed on the tech side and went behind the scenes to work on skunkworks projects such as stealth operating system Midori.

Shum joined Microsoft Research in 1996 working on computer vision and graphics. He moved to Beijing in 1999 to help start Microsoft Research China, re-named Microsoft Research Asia, where he became managing director.

He holds more than 50 US patents and has published papers on computer vision, computer graphics, pattern recognition, statistical learning, and robotics.

Shum's new role suggests Ballmer wants someone with an engineering and research eye as a point man at the intersection of research and products. His recent involvement with Bing suggests Microsoft wants a techie tuned to the integration of web search and online services with Windows devices. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.