Microsoft Appoints New Windows Phone Chief
Microsoft's Windows Phone Division has a new leader, the company announced on Monday.
Andy Lees, who has served as president of Microsoft's Windows Phone Division for the past three years, is moving to a new role within the company. Replacing him will be the Windows Phone unit's corporate vice president, Terry Myerson. However, as AllThingsD reports, Myerson will not immediately assume Lees' mantle of division "president."
In an e-mail to Microsoft employees on Monday announcing the executive change, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did not specify Lees' new title, saying only that it is a "time-critical" role that will be "focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8." Lees will continue to report to Ballmer.
Ballmer's e-mail points to Microsoft's recent successes with its consumer products -- particularly the Xbox and Kinect, but also the Windows Phone 7.5-based Nokia Lumia device -- as the reason for the executive switch. Lees' transfer to the new position and Myerson's promotion will help build on these products' "momentum," he said.
"We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential," he wrote.
Myerson joined Microsoft in 1997 after the company acquired Intersé Corp., where Myerson was CEO. According to his executive bio, Myerson led the Exchange team within Microsoft's Business Division for eight years prior to becoming the corporate VP of the Windows Phone business. In the latter role, he oversaw the development and delivery of the Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 7.5 software.
In his new role as head of the Windows Phone Division, Myerson will be responsible for the product's "development, marketing, and other business functions," Ballmer said in his e-mail.
Besides announcing Myerson's promotion, Ballmer also lauded Lees' work in the Windows Phone unit. "In the three years Andy has been leading the phone group, we've come a long way -- we reset our strategy, built a strong team that delivered WP7 and WP7.5 and created critical new partnerships and ecosystem around Windows Phone. That is a ton of progress in a brief period of time," he wrote.
Lees was appointed chief of the Windows Phone Division during an executive shakeup in 2008, back when the unit was still called the "Mobile Communications Business." Prior to his appointment, he served as the corporate vice president of the Server and Tools Marketing and Solutions Group. Lees has worked at Microsoft since 1990, according to his executive bio.