The Microsoft Reorg Versus Google: Lots Of Engineering, No Ads, Social Or Search Execs

microsoft logo 2012Microsoft has reorganized itself to be “One Microsoft,” with the company being organized by “function” rather than around products. How’s that compare to one of Microsoft’s chief competitors, Google, which did a reorg of its own two years ago?

Microsoft is all about engineering, whereas Google is more product-focused, it seems. And unlike Microsoft, Google has top management positions to cover its ads and social efforts, plus “Knowledge,” Google’s fancy name for search. Let’s take a look.

For this comparison, I’m largely drawing off Microsoft’s memo today and comparing that to Google’s management page, to see what correspondences, if any, there are.

This isn’t a perfect chart. For one, Google’s management page doesn’t list many key people. Rachel Whetstone, who heads corporate communications, isn’t listed. Laszlo Bock, who oversees hiring, also isn’t listed. Both have the same “senior vice president” title as other executives who are listed on the page. Why aren’t they listed? I wouldn’t read too much into their absence. Google is notoriously bad about maintaining its management page, and in part, that might be purposeful, so as to limit insight into the company.

Taking things from the top, here’s how I saw the correspondences.

CEO

Pretty easy correspondence here, Steve Ballmer continues on as CEO, versus Larry Page over at Google.

Chairman

Bill Gates continues as the chairman of Microsoft, even though he’s not listed as part of the management team. Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, is listed on Google’s page. That probably reflects that Gates really isn’t that busy with Microsoft, without day-to-day duties as Microsoft’s official page on him says. In contrast, Schmidt does seem to be heavily involved with Google’s activities.

Operating Systems

Here we have Terry Myerson in charge of all Microsoft’s operating systems (Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone, etc) versus Sundar Pichai, who oversees Chrome OS and Android. Remember Pichai’s name. We’ll be back to him.

Devices & Content

In this group, we have Julie Larson-Green overseeing Microsoft devices such as Windows Phone, Surface and, of course, Xbox. That’s an easy correspondence to Pichai, though Larson-Green seems like she’ll also oversee Microsoft’s content offerings on devices. I could be wrong on that. But if so, some of that falls to Pichai at Google, some of it falls to Salar Kamangar of YouTube and some may fall to others at Google that Google doesn’t list.

Applications

From Microsoft, we have Qi Lu in charge here, while on Google, we’re back to this being group under Pichai. Think Pichai’s done, with him corresponding to three different Microsoft execs so far? Think again….

Cloud & Enterprise Services

Microsoft apparently believes that cloud and enterprise services need to be considered apart from its operating systems, devices and applications. Satya Nadella has been put in charge of that. Google has Pichai again, perhaps reflecting that Google seems all of these things as much more unified than Microsoft does. Of couse, Pichai will have people working under him in more specific areas. But from an organizational standpoint, Google doesn’t have the separations that Microsoft does.

By the way, I’m short of time, so that’s why there’s no pictures here or for the remaining itemizations. I’ll try to add them in later.

Strategy

Eric Rudder seems to head up Microsoft’s long-term thinking projects; at Google, this is what keeps Google co-founder Sergey Brin busy.

Marketing & Communications

Microsoft named Tami Reller running this, and she best corresponds to Lorraine Twohill, the global head of marketing for Google. Not listed on today’s Microsoft memo is Mark Penn, who seems to hold a closely-related job to Reller, in charge of advertising and strategy.

COO

Pretty straight correspondence here, Kevin Turner on Microsoft’s side, Nikesh Arora at Google.

Business Development

Tony Bates heads this up for Microsoft; it seems to fall most to Nikesh Arora at Google.

Finances

Again, pretty straight correspondence. Amy Hood at Microsoft to Patrick Pichette at Google

Legal

Brad Smith at Microsoft to David Drummond at Google.

Human Resources

Lisa Brummel at Microsoft to Laszlo Bock at Google.

Search

Google began as a search company, and its search aspirations remain important enough that it has a “Knowledge” exec over search and information products, Alan Eustace. Microsoft doesn’t have a corresponding high-level position.

Ads

Microsoft has no executive named to oversee ads; presumably, these are seen as within one of the other divisions. At Google, two people oversee this: Susan Wojcicki on the product side, and Ramaswamy on the engineering side.

Social

Microsoft doesn’t see this as its own high-level division; at Google, former Microsoft exec Vic Gundotra runs it.

Related Topics: Features & Analysis | Google: Business Issues | Microsoft: Business Issues | Top News

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About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • jnffarrell1

    Organizing all the worlds knowledge, no matter how it was generated or how it was prepared for input to humans or retention by electronic media or the subconscious is the unifying principle. Calling Knowledge just search by another name is a gross oversimplification.

  • jnffarrell1

    Cloud services, thin clients and humongous servers with memory ,hadoop and client supporting AI is not on their product list at present. I expect Google to be running Pivot Tables of 1000000 row by 500 column ‘excel like spreadsheets’ without the EXCEL, long before MS merges the last enterprise server into the net.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    It is, and that was kind of purposeful, because “Knowledge” is a big concept for people to get. The point is, Microsoft doesn’t even have someone in charge of search as a top ranking exec, focused on just that as a major strategic area. Google does — not just search, but Knowledge overall.

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