Microsoft Announces Reorganization

REDMOND, Wash., March 29, 1999 — Microsoft President Steve Ballmer and CEO Bill Gates today announced a sweeping reorganization, designed to refocus the company on the needs of customers.

The heart of the restructuring is the creation of distinct customer-centered business groups:

  • The Business and Enterprise Division, which will focus on the information technology needs of large organizations.

  • The Consumer Windows Division, which will focus on improving Windows for the end user.

  • The Business Productivity Group, which will focus on the needs of the
    “knowledge worker”
    who is on the road and always in need of his or her data.

  • The Developer Group, which will focus on helping developers who write software for all Microsoft platforms,

  • The Consumer and Commerce Group, which will work to make it easier for customer and businesses to get together online.

The business divisions will think and act in parallel, each driving product planning and marketing strategies for customers. The customer-focused parallelism represents a move away from the alignment by products and technologies that Microsoft has used since its founding.

“This new structure is part of the reinvention of Microsoft,” said Ballmer.

Another part of that reinvention is a broadened new vision.

“Our original vision of ‘a computer on every desk and in every home’ is still extremely relevant,” said Gates. “Looking to the future our vision is much more expansive. We see a world where people can use any computing device to do whatever they want to do anytime, anywhere. The PC will continue to have a central role in this future, but it will be joined by an incredibly rich variety of digital devices accessing the power of the Internet.”

“We want to give people the power, connectivity and the ability to choose how they want to use computing in their lives,” Gates added.

Ballmer also announced the formation of a new Business Leadership Team. This team will replace the Executive Committee formed in December 1996, as the most senior-level decision-making team at the company. Members of the team will include: Jim Allchin, Orlando Ayala, Steve Ballmer, Brad Chase, Jon DeVaan, Bill Gates, Bob Herbold, Laura Jennings, Joachim Kempin, Greg Maffei, Paul Maritz, Mich Mathews, Bob Muglia, Bill Neukom and Jeff Raikes.

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