Julie Larson-Green Steps Into Big Title During Microsoft Reorganization

Image: Julie Larson-Green Steps Into Big Title During Microsoft Reorganization

Friday, 12 Jul 2013 09:25 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Julie Larson-Green is to head Microsoft's devices and studios engineering departments as part of a massive reorganization at the software giant which was announced Thursday by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Larson-Green, who is known for her exuberant team spirit and ability to work well with others, has climbed the corporate ladder during her 20-year career at Microsoft.

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In her new position, Larson-Green will oversee Microsoft Studios, which will include the "development of games, entertainment and premium content experiences for all devices across the company," Microsoft.com notes.

Consequently, Larson-Green's responsibilities will include the hardware development of Xbox, Surface and accessories.

Through its restructuring, which has been labeled "One Microsoft," the company’s engineering division has been divided into four primary areas focused on operating systems, applications, cloud computing, and devices, Ballmer said in a release.

Last November, Larson-Green replaced her longtime boss and mentor, Steven Sinofsky, when she was named head of the tech company's engineering department, Wired.com reported.

Having been interested in computers and technology from an early age, Larson-Green's road to a power position at Microsoft was not initially smooth, having begun with a rejection letter from the tech giant when she applied for her first job there more than two decades earlier, notes Wired.

The Washington native, who has a business administration degree from Western Washington University and a master's degree in software engineering from Seattle University, subsequently settled for a tech support position at a Seattle-based maker of desktop publishing software before eventually being hired by Microsoft.

Perhaps Larson-Green's most noticeable contribution to Microsoft in recent years is the newly designed Microsoft Office 2007. As a result of the change, Larson-Green was awarded the 2008 Outstanding Technical Excellence Award for the redesign by Microsoft.

A specialist in user-interface design, Larson was also reportedly responsible for making significant structural changes to Window's 7 as well.

In a 2009 article in Britain's Telegraph, the rising Microsoft star attributed her success in part to having "grouped people based on what pieces of software needed to work together, rather than around specific feature deliverables."

"In the past, there might have been a media team that was responsible for all the things around media," Larson-Green added. "But this time, part of what the media team worked on was in the graphics team area, and some was in the devices area."

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