Andy Lees, head of Microsoft’s Windows Phone division for more than three years, has been moved by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer into a new “time-critical” role that somehow combines Windows Phone and Windows 8. Terry Myerson, who led Windows Phone’s engineering efforts, will take over the management of Windows Phone, adding business development and marketing to his existing engineering responsibilities.First reported by AllThingsD, Lees will retain his “President” title, at least for the time being. However, it’s not clear who will report to him; Mary Jo Foley is reporting that all Lees’ previous direct reports will now answer to Myerson.
In an e-mail sent to employees to announce the change, Ballmer praised Lees’ work on Windows Phone, saying that Microsoft had “come a long way” and made a “ton of progress.” Though the platform is still struggling to make much impact on consumers, the first major update, Mango, has been reviewed positively, and early indications are that the new Nokia handsets are selling well.
According to the e-mail, Lees will be reporting directly to Ballmer, working on a “time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8.”
Just what this opportunity is is unclear.