back to article Satya Nadella shakes up Microsoft, appoints 'Scroogled' man Mark Penn as strategy chief

Reports have emerged of new senior appointments at Microsoft, events that are being interpreted as new CEO Satya Nadella putting his stamp on the organisation. According to Re/Code and Bloomberg, Mark Penn will soon be confirmed as chief strategy officer. The two outlets also report that Skype supremo Tony Bates and head of …

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  1. hplasm Silver badge
    Meh

    The shape of things to come?

    "...a range of projects involving marketing, media and compete"

    'compete' is not a thing.

    Not a good start.

    1. Bullseyed

      Re: The shape of things to come?

      If you're not familiar with MBA terms, you're not going to have a good time in corporate strategy discussions.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: The shape of things to come?

        ...you're not going to have a good time in corporate strategy discussions."

        How true; familiarity with MBA bullshit notwithstanding.

    2. sam bo

      Re: The shape of things to come?

      "'compete' is not a thing."

      And neither is marketing, - media is the plural of medium.

      maybe they need a medium to foresee which markets to compete in ?

    3. Fihart

      Re: The shape of things to come?

      As usual, decent English is the first casualty with these people.

      If they can't express ideas with the sort of clarity that makes sense to most intelligent people, can they be expected to think clearly ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Scroogled

    "Penn is known to be the mastermind behind Microsoft's “Scroogled” anti-Google campaign" - and is this idiot that now is promoted to chief strategy officer?

    This is almost as great news as if they had made flop CEO - at least to anyone wishing to see microsoft fail!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scroogled

      "Responsible for Microsoft’s global advertising and marketing strategy". Say what you like about Microsoft but advertising and marketing in recent years have failed in so many ways its hard to imagine what will happen if the guy who claims to be responsible gets to meddle in other parts of the company strategy.

  3. The BigYin

    Hmm...

    ...FUD merchants to the fore it looks like to me. Never let the facts get in the way of PR, hey MS?

    1. BillG
      Meh

      Re: Hmm...

      ...FUD merchants to the fore it looks like to me. Never let the facts get in the way of PR, hey MS?

      As in "At Google, we value your privacy"???

      ...El Reg, you REALLY need an icon for irony.

  4. SuperNintendoChalmers

    I feel a little sick

    Those quoted paragraphs of BS have made me feel a little queasy. This sentence in particular "He also oversees a multidisciplinary SWAT team that deals with a range of projects involving marketing, media and compete." Really, he has a SWAT team? What the hell does that mean in this context? If you refuse to sign the MS contract you get raided? Then we get to "compete" what the heck is that? Gah!!

    1. Bullseyed

      Re: I feel a little sick

      Pretty sure it is supposed to say "SWOT" team. That is what the Strategy department does.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis

  5. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    So far...OK

    So far Nadella looks like he's started off OK. There are signs that MS have come to terms with the new reality and are starting to play nice with open source and actually listening to their customers. This is in contrast to the Ballmer/Gates days when they ran the business in a crisis management/we are at war mode which basically pissed of the whole developer community. The failure to embrace the windows phone can be seen as payback for that .For customers It was interesting that the XBox 1 had it's price cut indicating that they realise the MS name no longer carries a premium.

    But those are the easy changes. They were obvious to anyone outside MS, it was just the old management were too pig-headed to admit how wrong they were. The real challenge will be changing the corporate culture and making up for the lost years. It is obvious that some in MS still don't get it (http://www.hanselman.com/blog/MicrosoftKilledMyPappy.aspx). It will take a while until such attitudes are either removed or redefined.

  6. Simon Ward
    Facepalm

    Corporatese bullshit at its finest ...

    "multidisciplinary SWAT team" - what the everloving fuck?!

    They're supposed to be a tech company, not the bloody Seattle Police Department.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    His group’s goals include creating world-class advertising and messaging to consumers and business customers delivered through the most cost-effective and scientific means available.

    Ah yes who can forget world class advertising such as this iPhone funeral when Windows Phone was announced -

    http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/16584_funeral_1.jpg

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      MS adverts are always awful

      One constant throughout Microsoft's existence is that their advertising has always been cringingly bad.

      I don't know who is responsible but I have never seen a MS advert that ever made me want to buy or use a MS product.

      While Apple sold cool, MS seemed determined to sell 'we are not very good, but you have to buy us anyway'

      Take the advert where a bloke on a train tells us he bought a surface PC because he could do work on an overcrowded train. My 1st thought on seeing that was the people in 1st class were probably using Apple Mac's and iPads.So by a PC and be part of the herd.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS adverts are always awful

        Their marketing department need to be fired.

        Who can forget the XBox name and how sales and marketing didn't like it. When asking the public what they liked XBox came out top. XBox was only included in the list of choices to demonstrate it was a bad name, the public did not agree.

      2. Indolent Wretch

        Re: MS adverts are always awful

        On seeing the train ad my first thoughts were, You're on the train going to work, grow a pair and stop doing unpaid overtime you doormat.

        1. John G Imrie Silver badge

          Re: MS adverts are always awful

          My first thought was. 'Micosoft, now you can work for free anywhere'

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: MS adverts are always awful

            Once I saw this, I could never quite look at another MS advert / product again without remembering it:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUXnJraKM3k

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS adverts are always awful

        > One constant throughout Microsoft's existence is that their advertising has always been cringingly bad.

        Oh gosh yes.

        They're so friggin' embarassing.

        It's like being at a party and watching one of your drunken friends hitting on everything with a skirt...and doing it loudly.

        Just for once I would like to see Microsft talking up their products rather then talking down their competition. Like political attack ads, they're all a race to the bottom.

  8. silent_count

    Shoot the Messenger

    "If reports of her [Tami Reller's] demise are correct it perhaps signals Microsoft distancing itself further from those who made the world so tepidly enthusiastic about Windows 8."

    She's like Baghdad Bob - tasked with putting a positive spin on abysmal failure. In both cases it's not the messenger's fault that they've got nothing positive to report.

  9. The Godfather
    Coat

    Holy Cow...

    A new dimension to corporate speak with all this SWAT stuff.....

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Holy Cow...

      The SWAT team is to keep the flies off the products...

  10. Beaufin

    Do they mean SWOT:

    Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats?

  11. mrbawsaq

    Start as you mean to go on

    Penn's background is as a political adviser - an environment where badmouthing the opposition is the only form of self promotion.

    To me, MS are saying that their strategy will continue to be that of ridiculing competing products rather than actually engineering innovative products that people want to buy and compelling services that people want to use.

    1. danny_0x98

      Re: Start as you mean to go on

      True, but to be fair, he did get Mrs. Clinton elected president in 2008 with his shrewd insights into the US voter.

      Hang on. Sorry, I seem to be in a time stream that doesn't exist.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Start as you mean to go on

        I can't be bothered to look this up, but I seem to remember that this was a highly successful campaign of negative marketing?

  12. Robert Sneddon Bronze badge

    Titanic

    The blundering incompetence of Mark Penn's organisation during the 2008 American quarter-finals was a major factor in costing Hillary Clinton her anointed place as the Democratic Party's hereditary nominee for the Presidential election that year. I assumed that after that debacle he had slunk off to find a big enough rock to crawl under and was lost to History and civilised company forever with only the millions of bucks he had charged her campaign in the process of sinking it to console himself with.

  13. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    "Based on state-of-the-art research and data tools, the campaigns aim to inspire our customers, incite our fans and turn around doubters."

    I don't suppose they've considered "not being dicks" as a strategy?

  14. Gray
    Facepalm

    About as popular as ...

    "... it perhaps signals Microsoft distancing itself further from those who made the world so tepidly enthusiastic about Windows 8."

    Tepidly enthusiastic? TEPIDLY enthusiastic??

    Awww ... c'mon, now! As tepidly enthusiastic as having a snapping turtle in yer bathtub? As tepidly enthusiastic as finding a turd in yer teapot? As tepidly enthusiastic as enduring a cavity-search at the airport?

    Tepid? Really??

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: About as popular as ...

      :( I like turtles. If I found a turtle in my bathtub I'd be quite happy, and go pull one of the spare enclosures off the shelf and set him/her up an environment. I wonder if he/she'd get along with the bearded dragon...

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