For several years, Microsoft was the subject of jokes for its departments being isolated from and even at war with each other, according to the New York Times. Microsoft, however, took steps to change that, reorganizing in July 2013, expressing the hope that its new structure would rally all the company's employees behind a single strategy while also allowing for greater efficiency.
Microsoft's new organization structure created groups built around functions: Engineering (which is essentially product development), marketing, business development, advanced strategy and research, finance, HR, legal, and departments under the chief operating officer (including field marketing, support, commercial operations and IT). The reorganization consolidates its major operating systems, including Windows, Windows Phone and the software that powers the Xbox. Within engineering, the company has four teams: operating systems, devices and studios (hardware), applications (software) and cloud/enterprise.
The company previously had been divided along eight product divisions. It believes the new structure will eliminate duplication of services and streamline innovation. The goal, according to the New York Times, is creating software with "tighter linkages to power an array of devices," so consumers can better use their smartphones, tablets and game consoles together. Many other leading technology companies like Apple and Google are already organized in a similar way, notes the Times.
Randi Hicks Rowe is a former journalist, public relations professional and executive in a Fortune 500 company, and currently a formation minister in the Episcopal Church. She has been published in Security Management, American Indian Report and Tech Republic.She has a bachelor's in communications, a master of arts in Christian education and a master of business administration.