The biggest news was that Tony Bates and Tami Reller, two executives who were considered high in the running for the position eventually given to Nadella, will be leaving Microsoft.
Bates was the former CEO of Skype and joined the leadership team when Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011. When former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced a massive corporate restructure of Microsoft (just a month before his announcement to retire), Bates was put in charge of the Business Development and Evangelism team.
The only reason given for his departure was that Bates “decided this is the right time for him to look for his next opportunity.” Nadella also said that he asked members of the leadership team to be “all in” with Microsoft’s new direction, so maybe Bates just wasn’t there.
As for Reller, who has held multiple chief financial officer titles throughout Microsoft and was most recently in charge of the Marketing Group, the only reason given was that she is giving way for a new “single marketing leader” approach. It isn’t clear why that single leader couldn’t be Reller.
Instead, Nadella announced Chris Capossela as the single new leader of Microsoft advertising. Capossela will holding the title of executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Capossela previously headed Microsoft's Consumer Channels Group and oversaw the release of Windows 8, Windows 8.1, the Surface tablet and Xbox One.
But as it turns out, Mark Penn will join Capossela on the leadership team as an executive vice president and chief strategy office. Penn will be in charge of marketing campaigns, so Capossela apparently will not be leading on his own.
In other words, it seems there’s more to the change than Nadella is letting on. It could be a move by Nadella to remove employees that felt slighted by not getting their chance in the spotlight.