Penn chosen for strategy chief role at Microsoft

Microsoft has named former Clinton aide and ex-Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn as chief strategy officer, while Tony Bates, EVP of business development and evangelism, and marketing EVP Tami Reller are leaving the company, according to media reports.

Microsoft has named former Clinton aide and ex-Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn as chief strategy officer, while Tony Bates, EVP of business development and evangelism, and marketing EVP Tami Reller are leaving the company, according to media reports.

Not even one month into his role as the technology giant's CEO, Satya Nadella reportedly alerted top lieutenants to the changes on Friday with plans to announce them formally on Tuesday.

Microsoft corporate VP of corporate communications Frank Shaw told PRWeek that because the changes have not been announced, he could not comment on how they will affect the company's communications reporting structure.

Penn joined the Redmond, WA-based company as corporate VP for strategic and special projects in August 2012 after serving as Burson's CEO for seven years. He is currently EVP of advertising and strategy. The WPP Group agency named former Clinton White House communications director Donald Baer to replace him. Penn was also CEO of Penn Schoen Berland for 37 years.

Eric Rudder, head of advanced strategy, is taking over Bates' duties, and Reller will be replaced by CMO Chris Capossela, according to Re/code. Reller will stay on to help with the transition, while Bates will leave immediately; it's not clear where they will be headed after leaving Microsoft.

Shaw began reporting to Reller last summer, following the company's reorganization of its management, marketing, and PR structures. He had previously reported to Capossela, who began to serve as corporate VP of the consumer channels group. Reller, previously CMO and CFO of Windows, took on the title of EVP of marketing, overseeing the practice globally.

The shake-up follows last week's announcement that Microsoft has named former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to lead its devices and studios division. Elop is replacing EVP Julie Larson-Green, who will become the company's chief experience officer, heading the applications and services group. She will report to Qi Lu, the app section's EVP.

Microsoft reported in January that it raked in $24.5 billion in revenue and $8 billion in profit in the fourth quarter, bolstered by sales of the Xbox One and 360 gaming devices.

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