Microsoft reorg could come next week

Software maker expected to make leadership changes in Windows and online services units. Two prominent outside hires are expected to be looking for new opportunities.

Microsoft is expected to announce organizational changes in the coming days, shaking up some of the leadership in its Windows and Windows Live groups, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.

The changes have been in the works for some time, though the exact announcement date has been in flux. The most recent date heard by a couple of sources is next Thursday, though that date is still not firm. (Memo to Microsoft: you've got a lot to learn when it comes to celebrating Valentine's Day.)

Among those expected to be out as part of the shift are Steve Berkowitz, the former Ask.com CEO, who has been senior vice president of Microsoft's online services business, and Mike Sievert, the former AT&T Wireless executive who joined Microsoft in 2005. Berkowitz was hired in spring 2006.

Sievert's expected departure was noted on Monday by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, while word of the reorganization was mentioned over the weekend by The Wall Street Journal.

It is not immediately clear whether or when the two are going to leave Microsoft, but their current responsibilities are expected to go to others.

A Microsoft representative declined to comment on the matter. Berkowitz and Sievert could not immediately be reached for comment.

Sievert and Berkowitz were both prominent outsiders in the kinds of roles Microsoft usually fills from within the company.

Both Sievert and Berkowitz have had their roles reduced somewhat in recent months. Berkowitz saw some of his duties shifted to Satya Nadella and Brian McAndrews. An insider said last month that Berkowitz was not necessarily a good fit even in his reduced role. Sievert had been responsible for both Windows product management and marketing when he first joined Microsoft, but Mike Nash was given the product management duties last year.

CEO Steve Ballmer noted at a financial analysts meeting on Monday that Microsoft needs to do a better job of marketing Windows.

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    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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