Microsoft Head of Digital Transformation leaves company

April 5, 2022
Microsoft Building
Microsoft veteran James Phillips
James Phillips

Effective April 15, veteran James Phillips is set to leave Microsoft after 10 years. Phillips was the President of the Digital Transformation Group with around 15,000 people. The decision came after Phillips’ extended sabbatical. 

In an email to ZDNET, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie announced Phillip’s departure for an unspecified external opportunity. This decision was also confirmed by Philips through LinkedIn. He assured that an update would be provided in the weeks to come. 

In 2012, Phillips joined the company as corporate vice president and strategic advisor to Satya Nadella. In March 2021, Philips became the head of the new Digital Transformation group, which is in charge of the company’s business applications and services. This includes the Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Azure AI Platform, Azure Data Platform, Azure IoT Platform, along with the Microsoft Cloud for Industry solutions. 

Only this January, Philips joined Madrona Venture Group, which is based in Seattle, as a Strategic Director. This is on top of his leadership of the Digital Transformation Platform Group.   

Mary Jo Foley of ZDNET noted that it seems that Microsoft would not replace Philips. It is more likely that the groups he headed will be split-up and moved around to the other departments. 

Guthrie announced that the Business Applications & Platform (BAP) organization will continue to be led by Charles Lamanna. Similarly, the AI platform organization will still be led by Eric Boyd, and the Azure Data organization will still be led by Rohan Kumar. These organizations, however, will join the C+AI leadership team and report directly to Guthrie. 

Guthrie also outlined Microsoft’s plans on the integration of Nuance Communications into his Division. It could be recalled that upon the completion of Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance last month for $19.7 billion, Microsoft said that Nuance CEO Mark Benjamin would report to Gurthrie.  

Microsoft’s Health & life Sciences engineering team will be moved under the Nuance R&D organization, which is headed by Benjamin, who will report directly to Guthrie. Meanwhile, the Business Applications and Platform organization will take in the Nuance Enterprise Business and Product Management. 

The consolidation of the IoT and Edge engineering teams was also announced as part of the company’s reorganization. This intends to make sure that there will be synergies in IoT and the work that the company is doing in Azure Arc, Azure Stack, and Azure Edge Zones. 

Microsoft announced that these organizational changes take effect immediately.

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