Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop - Microsoft Nokia deal
Happier times: Stephen Elop (right) chats with Microsoft boss Satya Nadella Nokia

Microsoft executive Stephen Elop is to leave the computer software company, just a year after being hired through the acquisition of Nokia.

The Canadian was instrumental in overseeing Nokia's adoption of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system with the launch of the Lumia smartphone brand, which was in 2014 acquired by Microsoft.

Elop previously worked for Microsoft, between 2008 and 2010, as head of its business division where he was responsible for Microsoft Office. After this, he became CEO of Nokia, before transitioning back to Microsoft during its acquisition of Nokia, to become vice president of devices and services.

The news of Elop's departure was announced in an email to Microsoft employees written by CEO Satya Nadella. Although not stating that Elop was fired, Nadella says: "Stephen and I have agreed that now is the right time for him to retire from Microsoft. I regret the loss of leadership that this represents, and look forward to seeing where his next destination will be."

'I regret the loss'

Nadella said: "[Elop] has been a strong advocate of the need to drive focus and accountability around the delivery of these experiences and has helped drive tighter alignment toward the ambition of more personal computing. I regret the loss of leadership that this represents, and look forward to seeing where his next destination will be."

With Elop gone, Terry Myerson, previously Microsoft's executive vice president of operating systems, will take on his role of leading a newly formed division inside the company, called Windows and Devices Group.

As well as Elop, Microsoft's corporate vice president for strategic and special projects, Mark Penn, will also be leaving. So too will Kirill Tatarinov, who headed Microsoft's business solutions group, and Microsoft veteran of 25 years Eric Rudder, former executive vice president of advanced strategy.

Nadella said: "I've worked closely with Stephen, Eric, Kirill and Mark and have incredible respect for each of them and wish them well."

Effective immediately, this is how Microsoft's board of executives now looks:

  • Chris Capossela, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer (will now also take on responsibility for Dynamics and Education marketing)
  • Kurt DelBene, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Planning
  • Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise
  • Amy Hood, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Kathleen Hogan, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
  • Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development (will now lead our partnerships with mobile operators around the world)
  • Qi Lu, Executive Vice President, Applications and Services Group
  • Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group
  • Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Technology and Research
  • Brad Smith, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Legal and Corporate Affairs
  • Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer (will also now take responsibility for the Dynamics sales and partner organization)
  • Jill Tracie, Chief of Staff