Microsoft taps tech leader to head Office division

Oct 01, 2010 By JESSICA MINTZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. has picked an insider with engineering expertise to head up its Office software division, filling a spot left vacant in September when the most recent president left to become Nokia Corp.'s CEO.

Kurt DelBene, an 18-year veteran, was named president of the Microsoft Office division. Most recently, DelBene, 50, led engineering and development for the division that includes the Office desktop programs, SharePoint and the Exchange e-mail system.

DelBene's role will be slightly narrower than that of his predecessor, Stephen Elop. It won't include oversight of Microsoft's business solutions group, which makes financial, supply chain and customer relationship management software. That group will be led by Kirill Tatarinov; both he and DelBene will report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer.

Chris Capossela, DelBene's peer and a senior marketing and product management executive in the Office group, was also seen as a candidate. He will now report to DelBene.

Matt Rosoff, an analyst for the independent research group Directions on Microsoft, said part of Microsoft's motivation for the appointment is to make sure it has technical people in leadership positions.

"Internally, Microsoft gets criticism from some employees saying there are too many marketing people in high positions," Rosoff said in an interview. Both Ballmer and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner come from sales and marketing backgrounds.

Microsoft is also promoting Andy Lees to president of Microsoft's phone business and Don Mattrick to president of the group that includes the Xbox game console, the Zune media player and Internet television technology.

Both were senior vice presidents of their respective groups.

The Windows Phone and Xbox efforts were under one umbrella until this spring, when Robbie Bach, the president of the division, retired.

Microsoft's Xbox group is doing well, with strong console sales and the much-anticipated release of Kinect, a new motion-detecting controller that makes a joystick-style controller unnecessary.

But critics wonder whether Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's attempt to compete with Apple Inc.'s iPhone and Google Inc.'s Android phone system, is coming too late.

Lees' promotion indicates Microsoft isn't planning any big changes in the phone group until it sees how the new system is received in the market, Rosoff said.

Explore further: Apple stops sales in Russia, citing unstable ruble

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft top entertainment executives step down

May 25, 2010

(AP) -- Microsoft is announcing the departure of the president and another key executive from the group that makes its Xbox 360 game system, Windows mobile phones and Zune media players.

Microsoft links new smart phones to Xbox Live

Aug 17, 2010

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. is bringing its video-game expertise to the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 line, an attempt to capitalize on the success of the Xbox 360 as the software maker tries to compete with Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

Microsoft to kick off Office 2010 in June

Dec 04, 2009

When Microsoft starts selling Office 2010 next year, the company will take its workhorse software suite and move it one step closer to its vision of cloud computing.

Microsoft Reorg Focuses on Business

May 21, 2007

Microsoft has reshuffled its organizational chart again, this time adding the Developer and Platform Evangelism team to its Server and Tools division, and then moving that merged entity into the Business division.

Microsoft replays Zune design for phone comeback

Feb 15, 2010

(AP) -- Apple Inc. rocked the wireless business by combining the functions of a phone and an iPod. Now, more than two years later, Microsoft Corp. has its comeback: phone software that works a lot like its ...

Recommended for you

Underfire Uber ramps up rider safety

58 minutes ago

Uber is ramping up driver background checks and other security measures worldwide after the smartphone-focused car-sharing service was banned in New Delhi following the alleged rape of a passenger.

Sony cancels NKorea parody film release after threats

1 hour ago

Hollywood studio Sony Pictures on Wednesday abruptly canceled the December 25 release date of "The Interview," a parody film which has angered North Korea and triggered chilling threats from hackers.

Sprint accused of billing for unwanted services

5 hours ago

(AP)—Federal regulators are accusing Sprint Corp. of illegally billing its wireless customers hundreds of millions of dollars in charges for text message alerts and other services that they didn't order.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.