Microsoft today announced some changes to its Senior Leadership Team, following the departure of Qi Lu, who has the Executive Vice President of Applications and Services Group at the firm. The company today announced a new AI & Research Group which will be led forward by Harry Shum, who was previously Executive Vice President of Microsoft Research. In an internal email, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella stated that the new AI and Research Group will include some key engineering teams from the Applications and Services Group, including Microsoft Research, Robotics, Ambient Computing, Cortana, and Bing. Nadella stated:
“To accelerate this vision, I have asked Harry Shum to lead the Microsoft AI and Research Group, bringing together for the first time our world-class research organization alongside all our AI product efforts. David Ku and the Information Platform Group along with Derrick Connell and the Bing and Cortana Engineering Group will now report to Harry. Vijay Mital and the Ambient Computing and Robotics Team will also be joining Harry’s team.”
Now, Nadella has also announced that Rajesh Jha is joining the Senior Leadership Team at Microsoft today. Jha is also going to be leading the new Office Product Group — where he’ll be reporting to Satya Nadella. In addition to this, Microsoft’s Gurdeep Pall is transitioning the Skype team to Rajesh Jha’s Office Product Group as well. Interestingly enough though, Nadella is yet to reveal where Skype’s previous leader Gurdeep Singh Pall will be heading — but we’ll likely know more about Gurdeep’s new role pretty soon. Nadella added:
“Rajesh Jha will step into the role of leading the Office Product Group reporting directly to me and joining the SLT starting today. Julie Larson-Green and Eran Megiddo will continue in their current and existing charters, reporting to Rajesh. Gurdeep Singh Pall and I have decided this is the right time for him to transition to his next role. Gurdeep will transition the Skype team to Rajesh over the coming weeks.”
Microsoft is putting a lot of focus into artificial intelligence, and the company’s new Microsoft AI and Research Group is a perfect example of that. 5 thousand of Microsoft’s employees will be working on the AI and Research Group, and that’s quite a huge investment, to say the least. It’s clear Microsoft’s Satya Nadella is betting big on artificial intelligence, and the outcome could potentially have a huge outcome for the software giant’s future.