Update: Microsoft is getting ready to name Mark Penn, a controversial former Hilary Clinton campaign operative, as its chief strategy officer, according to Bloomberg. This news comes hours after Re/Code reported that Tami Reller, EVP of marketing and Tony Bates, EVP of business development, are poised to leave Microsoft. Two company long-timers Chris Capossella and Eric Rudder will step in for Reller and Bates, respectively.
The departure of Reller, who came to Microsoft via that company’s buyout of Great Plains Software in 2001, did not come as a surprise to Re/Code, but I would have thought Penn, who shared marketing duties, might have gone instead. He is the brain behind the widely panned “Scroogled” ad campaign. Bates, who joined Microsoft via its buyout of Skype in 2011, was on the short list of internal candidates for CEO, the job that went to Satya Nadella (pictured above) so no huge surprise there.
Note: This story was updated at 6:31 a.m. PST March 3, with details about Penn’s new role from Bloomberg.