Microsoft gives Windows Phone chief greater powers

The software giant has promoted Andy Lees, and appointed Terry Myerson as its new Windows Phone president.

Windows Phone

Microsoft has made some key leadership changes as it continues to search for ways to extend its dominance in the PC market to the fast-growing and highly-competitive smartphone business.

Microsoft Windows Phone Division President Andy Lees, who has led the phone group since 2009, will take a new role at the company that involves working with its phone and PC businesses, according to an email set to all employees yesterday by chief executive Steve Ballmer.

We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential.

"As I look at where we are, what we've done, and what we must do in the year ahead, I'm making two leadership changes to ensure we build on our momentum. First, I have asked Andy Lees to move to a new role working for me on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8. We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential," Ballmer stated.

Replacing Lees as head of the Windows Phone Division is Terry Myerson, who had previously overseen engineering efforts for the phone group. Myerson will now be responsible for Windows Phone development, marketing and other business functions, wrote Ballmer.

Ballmer's email continued: "As many of you know, Terry played a key and highly successful role working with Andy by leading the engineering work on Windows Phone 7 and 7.5. Terry will now be responsible for Windows Phone development, marketing, and other business functions. Because Terry has been so integrally involved in our Windows Phone work already, I'm confident that he can make a seamless transition to this new and broader leadership responsibility."

Microsoft's Windows operating system is the most widely used software for the world's personal computers. But the company has struggled to find its footing in the market for Internet-enabled smartphones, where Google's Android and Apple's iOS have become consumer favourites.

Ballmer ended his all-employee email with a rallying call to be proud of achievements thus far and look forward to what the company wants to achieve in the year ahead.

"It is amazing to pause and look back at what we've accomplished as a company this year, from our incredible product momentum to the formation of several powerful partnerships and the overall strength of our leadership team," he said.

"You know I'm a look-forward kind of person, so when I look forward to 2012, I see even more opportunity and potential in what we have planned."

(Additional reporting by IT Pro)

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