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Microsoft's mobile guru Andy Lees nabs a promotion

One of the software giant's head honchos changes gears, going from working with Windows Phone and Windows 8 to becoming the company's head of corporate development and strategy.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
Microsoft's Andy Lees is now the company's head of corporate development and strategy. Microsoft

As Microsoft goes through a major corporate shakeup, it seems to have made some other shifts and changes in its leadership recently. A company spokesperson told CNET that Microsoft quietly moved mobile guru Andy Lees to the head of corporate development and strategy about a month ago.

Lees has been with the company for more than 20 years. Less than a year ago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer changed Lees from being president of the Windows Phone division to a vaguely described job that had Lees focusing on a set of projects with Windows Phone and Windows 8. In this role, he spearheaded a joint venture with Barnes & Noble creating a Nook app for Windows 8.

Now as the head of corporate development and strategy, Lees will report to Microsoft CFO Peter Klein rather than Ballmer, according to the company spokesperson. Lees will oversee both the corporate strategy and the corporate development teams. These teams work across the company and largely focus on investments and acquisitions. While this means a shift from mobile, Microsoft's spokesperson said that Lees has a successful background in sales, marketing, and business leadership.

Microsoft announced yesterday that Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky is leaving the company and Julie Larson-Green is being promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. While Sinofsky is known for being an intelligent executive, he also has a reputation for being difficult to work with.