Business

Microsoft just spent 30 minutes saying nothing about its huge reorg

Above: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Image Credit: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat

Microsoft put in place its largest company reorganization ever today. So what does Microsoft’s new leadership team have to say about it?

“We have to be more like a football team where we help each other … rather than a baseball team where you play more individual positions,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said on the call.

Um, OK.

Microsoft just hosted a 30-minute conference call to talk about the massive changes it is making to unify its services and modernize its offerings. But instead of telling us anything meaningful, the executive team only reiterated the talking points of its press release and memo released earlier today.

The call included statements from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and a who’s who of Microsoft executives including Julie Larson-Green, Terry Myerson, Qi Lu, Satya Nadella, Tony Bates, Tami Reller, and Amy Hood. (Larson-Green and Myerson are arguably the two biggest names under Ballmer now.)

That’s a great collection of minds. Too bad they didn’t say much. If anything stood out, it was that Ballmer suggested there were no planned layoffs, even though all of Microsoft’s marketing efforts will be combined under Reller.

“We have no plans for layoffs,” Ballmer said. “We certainly want to extend what we’re doing.”

Reller also added that the realignment would help people not quite step on each other’s toes when it came to marketing.

“We fundamentally believe we’ll be able to go to market much more effectively,” Reller said.

As for how the reorg would affect its financials, Hood — Microsoft’s chief financial profit — insisted this would push up its profit.

“This is about setting us up for long-term profit growth,” Hood said.

The final question on the call was one of the most meaningful, but yet again, little was said. The reporter wondered how Microsoft would hold the new leadership accountable.

Ballmer said accountability would be increased with the reorg. “The level of accountability rises when we all have to look at the company’s integrated profitability,” Ballmer said.

Now, to be fair to Microsoft, the company’s next earnings release and earnings call will be on July 18. Companies get tight-lipped right before earnings, so perhaps there was more these execs wanted to talk about but couldn’t.

Another reason to say nothing outside of talking points? It may have helped the company’s stock, which ended trading today up 3 percent.

We’ll be following up with Microsoft as well and hope we get more details about where the company hopes to go with this reorganization.


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