Microsoft has announced an executive shakeup that sees Andy Lees, who most recently worked on investing in a Barnes & Noble subsidiary, promoted to head of corporate development and strategy at the Redmond-based corporation. According to Bloomberg, the move was made to help Microsoft thwart off competition from Apple, Google and other firms within the tech space.
Lees, once responsible for heading the Windows Phone division at Microsoft, has reportedly been on the job since last month and reports to CFO Peter Klein. After a new wave of Windows Phone devices failed to garner any traction in the smartphone industry in late 2011, Lees has reportedly been working on ”a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8″ with CEO Steve Ballmer over the past year.
The announcement of this move follows the departure of Steven Sinofsky, the former Windows head who worked at Microsoft for over two decades. Sinofsky left Microsoft to pursue personal endeavours and noted that any other speculation surrounding his resignation is likely false. Last we heard is that perhaps Sinofsky was somewhat difficult to work with, which didn’t jive well with other executives and the new direction that Microsoft is taking overall.
Microsoft is beginning to redefine itself as a corporation, which is more important now than ever as competition strengthens in the tech sector. Apple and Google have been dominating the mobile landscape with the iPhone and Android devices respectively, but Microsoft has responded with Windows Phone 8 and gone a step further with Windows 8 and the Surface. Microsoft is exciting again, and hopefully Lees can keep the momentum going.