One of the industry?s highest ranking female executives, Patty Stonesifer, has resigned as senior vice president of Microsoft, sparking off a wholesale realignment of the company's business.
The reshuffle will leave the company with two main product groups - one covering platforms and applications and another focusing on interactive media like the company?s online service. Peter Higgins, previously a group vice president, has been named to succeed Stonesifer and head up the interactive media unit and Paul Maritz will head the platforms and applications group.
The move signals a move by the software giant to be less dependent on its core desktop business, plus a greater emphasis on the consumer side of its business, in a week that has seen tectonic shifts in the network computing arena. But Robert Sakakeeny, analyst at the Aberdeen Group, said the realignment was really an attempt to put an end to internal squabbling. He also said of Stonesifer?s resignation: ?Lots of top executives in the top companies are making moves. It is an exhausting industry to be in.?
Chief executive Bill Gates said: "Today's move optimises Microsoft?s ability to take advantage of the business and technical opportunities we see as customers rapidly adopt the Internet and Intranet into their daily lives. Customers demand increased synergy among products, more compelling content, improved ease of use and lower cost of ownership. Networked personal computers are delivering on each of these benefits and the realignment we are announcing today positions Microsoft well to continue its leadership."
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