Microsoft to Try Going Back to Engineer Roots

Microsoft may be moving back to placing engineers in more prominent roles within the company as Steve Ballmer completes his management shake-up.

The company is looking to replace many of the senior staff who have moved on with engineers rather than those who have come from other areas of the company Bloomberg reports.

The move is designed to get Microsoft moving in areas where it is perceived to have fallen behind, such as cloud computing and mobile platforms.

"Most of Microsoft engineering executives have some aspect of marketing in their careers," said Wes Miller, an analyst at research firm Directions on Microsoft.

"It's going to come down to seeing who it is that gets promoted. My feeling is the company will look for engineering expertise."

He pointed out that Ballmer had succeeded in changing parts of the company before by taking personal command. When Miller was still at Microsoft he saw Ballmer do this with MSN, a move which proved successful.

Microsoft has already shown evidence of this new engineering focus. Former head of the company's business division Stephen Elop, has been replaced by engineering chief Kurt DelBene for example.

Investors are putting pressure on Ballmer to either produce results or stand aside for someone who can. Microsoft's share price has shown little growth so far compared to firms like Google or Apple and financial analysts are increasingly pessimistic about the company's long-term stock performance.

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