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Microsoft regroups for synergy

The software giant announces it is realigning company divisions and positions to better integrate related business units.

Microsoft (MSFT) today announced that it is realigning company divisions and executive positions to better integrate related business units and refocus its Internet properties and Windows groups.

According to Microsoft representative Heidi Rothauser, there will be no layoffs as a result of the realignment, and no senior management positions have been eliminated.

"This is an obvious shifting to take advantage of the synergies in bringing some groups together," she said.

The changes, which were expected, primarily affect the Internet client and developer relations group, which includes oversight of Internet Explorer. The group is moving to the personal and business systems group (PBSG), directed by Jim Allchin. PBSG formerly was part of the applications and Internet client group (AICG).

Brad Chase, former vice president of developer relations and marketing for AICG, was named director of marketing for PBSG. David Cole will oversee consumer-side Windows and multimedia development.

The former AICG group and the BackOffice marketing group will join to form the applications and tools group, which will be headed by Bob Muglia.

John Ludwig has moved from AICG to the interactive media group, directed by Pete Higgins. The group will focus on an initiative called "Web Essentials," which includes oversight of Microsoft's existing Internet properties, like the Microsoft Network, Outlook Express, and the IE start page.

Rothauser denied that the moves were necessitated by the current antitrust action brought against Microsoft by the federal government. "It would be wrong," she said, "to interpret that these changes are as a result of the Justice Department's case."