The chief architect of Windows Phone 7 in Andy Lees has been moved to a new position within Microsoft according to an internal memo given by CEO Steve Ballmer. The move follows previous statements made by Ballmer making tacit admissions that confirm that the platform isn’t performing as well as expected.
Taking Lees’ place as the head of Windows Phone without being conferred the same title as Lees will be the current head of engineering and platform development in Terry Myerson, who will now add the additional responsibilities ofÂ business development, marketing and other responsibilities related to Lees former position. Continue reading for the internal memo in full.
â€œI 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,â€Â â€œWe have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential.â€
â€œIn the three years Andy has been leading the phone group, weâ€™ve come a long way,â€ â€œWe reset our strategy, built a strong team that delivered [Windows Phone 7] and [the Mango update] and created critical new partnerships and ecosystem around Windows Phone. That is a ton of progress in a brief period of time, and Iâ€™m excited for Terry and team to keep driving forward and for Andy to dig into a new challenge.â€
Following the failure of Kin and the subsequent rebranding of Series 7 into Phone 7, Lees managed to salvage the platform and launch the initial wave of devices in November 2010, which were critically well-received with a big marketing push given by AT&T, T-Mobile and additional coverage on NBC, but it did little to move consumer interest with slow sales and reports of poor retailer treatment compared to other platforms such as iOS and Android.
Now with the impending launch of Windows 8, it remains to be seen whether Lees will continue to work with Microsoft and Myerson continue the current work on Windows Phone 7, which includes further work on the next major update as well as the long awaited launch of Nokia’s Windows Phone devices in the US.