NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I think of Steve Ballmer as the John Adams of Microsoft (MSFT). Bill Gates was George Washington, the historical figure, while Ballmer is the annoying guy behind the scenes, doing the diplomatic heavy lifting.
Ever since Gates left active management for full-time philanthropy, Ballmer has remained in his shadow, an object of fun for some, an object of ridicule for others.
Yesterday, Ballmer tried to change his storyline with a sweeping reorganization of the company which he told employees will transform it completely.
Dubbed "One Microsoft," the reorganization makes Microsoft a "devices and services" company. Here are the highlights:
A single operating systems group, covering everything from devices to the cloud, under Terry Myerson, who is still in his mid-40s and came to the company when his start-up Interse was acquired in 1997.
A devices and studios group under Julie Larson-Green , once called Ballmer's heir apparent. She gets hardware, everything from the Windows Surface tablet and the Xbox gaming system, which was previously under Don Mattrick, who left earlier in the week for Zynga.
A single marketing group under Tami Reller, who joined the company in 2001 when it acquired Great Plains Software. Previously head of Windows marketing, she now runs all marketing.
An advanced strategy and research group under Eric Rudder, previously in charge of developer outreach in servers and tools, who once advised Gates on technical planning.
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