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Elop would consider selling Xbox, scrapping Bing if he was Microsoft CEO: Bloomberg

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 08 Nov 2013 13:22 User comments (7)

Elop would consider selling Xbox, scrapping Bing if he was Microsoft CEO: Bloomberg Bloomberg is citing people close to Stephen Elop in reporting that he would make some big chances to Microsoft's traditional business practices as CEO.
The main shift Bloomberg's sources say would be to end Microsoft's use of popular applications like Word and Excel to drive demand for Windows operating systems. Elop would rather make these applications available on a broad variety of devices, including those made by rivals like Apple.

He would also reportedly considering selling healthy businesses, like Microsoft's Xbox business, if he didn't feel it was critical to the company's strategy. Microsoft's Bing - an expensive attempt to compete with Google - could also face being scrapped by Elop as CEO.

When he took over at Nokia, Elop made the decision almost immediately to stop development of Symbian, which was at the time the dominant smartphone operating system in the world, albeit in decline. He also cut 40,000 jobs at the Finnish giant to reduce operating expenses.

Bloomberg's sources say Microsoft would face similar re-adjustments, with job cuts and downsizing of teams.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally is also being touted as a potential replacement for Steve Ballmer, who announced his pending retirement earlier this year.

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7 user comments

18.11.2013 13:55

Elop is, in my opinion, a foolish blowhard. His abrupt termination of Symbian support - which was still very profitable at the time - instead of a more-gradual phaseout is considered to be a HUGE blunder, which Nokia still has not recovered from.

Don't agree? Try googling "elop idiot"; you'll change your tune.

28.11.2013 15:36

Oh, snap! Ex-Apple exec says Stephen Elop should be sacked as Nokia should've gone Android

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Oh-snap-...Android_id31923


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38.11.2013 19:11

I'm curious what he means he would "Elop would rather make these applications available on a broad variety of devices, including those made by rivals like Apple."

Hmm isn't office alread available on the mac?

While i agree, many teams at MS are bloated and should be reduced in size, some of the last jobs I've had there, for example on one team i worked on we had 8 people, 5 developers and 3 testers, while we had 4 program managers that did little more then make meeting appointments and argue between themselves how something should work in sprint planning meetings. Sprint meetings were suppose to be deciding that will be implemented in the current sprint, not a design meetings, if all is working well the PM's should of had the work then wanted implemented spec'ed out. So i could easily see where M$ could/should get rid of a few layers of middle management...



48.11.2013 19:32

too many chiefs & not enough indians.

58.11.2013 21:38

To be fair, I'm sure some of the extra management overhead comes from M$'s policy of letting divisions/subdivisions run more or less autonomously, to the point of directly competing with each other for company resources. While I'm not certain of the overall utility of this approach, it DOES have arguably have some merits, at least in principle.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Nov 2013 @ 21:38

68.11.2013 23:31

Originally posted by Bozobub:
To be fair, I'm sure some of the extra management overhead comes from M$'s policy of letting divisions/subdivisions run more or less autonomously, to the point of directly competing with each other for company resources. While I'm not certain of the overall utility of this approach, it DOES have arguably have some merits, at least in principle.
I don't think that is the case or the same issue here. I remember when i first started, it was much more as you suggested in your comment. I saw where normally 2 or 3 separate teams would work on and develop various solutions for the same or similar issue and not share the code across teams. Most often they had no desire to have cross product dependencies... While i remember seeing around 2000/02 teams were being given "The Charter" for owning the code to do "X" and everyone was to use that. Over time M$ consolidated parts of various solution from each and in the end got fairly nice solutions for that code/problem. That in how it seemed when i worked there in the 1990's and thought it was a huge strength M$ had. Seriously how many other companies could afford or allow 10 different teams all working on the same thing, only to throw the work away from 9 of them... Completely crazy from a business point of view, but a real asset in the end to get the best of 10 different solutions. I think those were the glory days of M$ when the stock was doubling every few months who cared about cost they had a monopoly and they had not care in the world...

But now they are getting penny pinched, such as one friend of mine i talked with this week, he mentioned they were already told 6 months ago they needed to get a new update/release out. Their previous release cycle was slightly over a year, now they have 6 months. While the size of the last 6 month release was was considerably larger than the one that took a year. They just finished a month behind about 3 3 weeks ago. Everyone on the team was looking forward to having things go back to normal (i.e. the normal 50->60 hour weeks) and no more death march hours and relax some. My friend mentioned he worked an average of 110 hours for that 6 month period. Mind you he is married with a new born and one coming on the way. However they were just told they need to keep up the current pace and do more for 6 more months to get the next release out. You guessed it larger in scope then any update/release to date. While the good news is they are losing 3 of their 5 contractors that in the past did a large portion of the work.

Personally I really see M$ struggling and don't see much of a way out for it currently or in the near future. And the changes Elop might be suggesting, selling of XBox seems completely insane, i thought XBox is a revenue stream not a sink. I use to works in a group that was a money sink, but very necessary for the rest of the company, as it does need and will still need development tools....

79.11.2013 1:50

Wow, that was a very interesting post, SomeBozo!

However, whether or not it works any more, it doesn't really negate my basic point of where that "fat" comes from. Once you combine it with the arteriosclerosis that any large corporation just about always experiences eventually (witness the recent changes to Google's paradigm, or IBM before their reshuffle), the current situation seems unavoidable to me.

Edit --> On reflection, I also am wondering how much of the pressure they've been putting on their personnel is more from the fact that they found they simply could do so (especially in this economy), without people quitting.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Nov 2013 @ 2:19

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