Microsoft strategy chief Kurt DelBene, one of CEO Satya Nadella’s lieutenants, is getting a broader mandate as the company reorganizes its sales and operations group.
DelBene, who formerly led Microsoft’s strategy teams, as of this week took on the title of chief digital officer, overseeing a unit that includes the company’s strategy, real estate and operations, as well as the internal information technology groups that keep the computers and network running for the 121,500-person software giant.
The changes represent a flattening of the company’s administrative and technology staff.
Jim DuBois, Microsoft’s Chief Information Officer since 2013 and manager of Microsoft’s internal technology teams, will leave the company, Microsoft said. DuBois didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.
The announcements came a day after Microsoft announced a large layoff that fell primarily in its sales groups. Microsoft said a restructuring of its sales units, aimed at positioning its legions of salespeople to better sell cloud-computing products, will lead to “thousands” of job cuts, primarily at foreign subsidiaries.
Some of the layoffs, a person briefed on the cuts said, will fall on Microsoft units at the company’s Redmond headquarters, including the operations groups under DelBene, as well as finance and legal units that had supported sales.
The Puget Sound Business Journal, which late Thursday reported on DuBois’s departure, also reported that as many as 500 Microsoft jobs may be cut in the Puget Sound area. Microsoft declined to comment on the figure.
DuBois’ unit until last year was one of the groups included in Microsoft’s 51,000-strong sales and operations organization, which reported to chief operations officer Kevin Turner. That group was broken up upon Turner’s departure, with some elements going to two separate sales chiefs, as well as chief marketing officer Chris Capossela, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, and DelBene.
DelBene joined Microsoft in 1992, and he rose in the ranks of the company’s engineering leadership, ultimately running the company’s former Office Division.
He was the odd executive out in a 2013 reorganization. The company at the time announced what it said was DelBene’s retirement during the effort, near the end of Steve Ballmer’s tenure as CEO, to reduce the number of competing engineering divisions and redundant marketing and administrative efforts.
Kurt DelBene’s wife, Suzan DelBene, herself a former Microsoft executive, had won election to U.S. Congress the previous year.
Kurt DelBene later took a role to revamp the HealthCare.gov website after its troubled launch as part of former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Nadella brought DelBene back to Microsoft in 2015 as corporate strategy lead, with a mandate to help oversee Microsoft efforts across product groups and divisions, and to keep the company’s leadership and employees informed on competitors like Amazon.com and Google.