One of Microsoft’s longest-running executive leaders is leaving after more than three decades with the company.
Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer, will be replaced in the role by another longtime marketing leader, Takeshi Numoto, himself a 26-year veteran of the company, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a message to employees Thursday morning.
“Chris and I have been working on his succession plan for some time, and as this new era of AI is upon us, we’ve decided this is the right time to put that plan into action,” Nadella wrote.
Nadella described Numoto as “a fantastic systems thinker who works end-to-end across all functions from engineering to finance to operations to sales.”
Capossela joined Microsoft in 1991, serving as a marketing manager, product manager, general manager and vice president on a variety of businesses, most notably Microsoft Office, and working for more than two years as a speechwriter for Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. He has served twice as CMO, stretching back more than a decade.
The change is effective today, but Capossela is expected to remain at Microsoft for the remainder of the calendar year to help with the transition. He is not retiring, but there’s no word yet on what he will do next.
Capossela got his start in technology as a kid growing up in Boston, using dBASE for DOS on an IBM PC to build a reservation system for his family’s Italian restaurant. In a 2018 interview with GeekWire, Capossela said he had occasionally contemplated leaving Microsoft for a startup experience, and mused that his daughters would love a return to his roots with a family restaurant.
Nadella also announced two other changes.
- Yusuf Mehdi, a longtime Microsoft executive who has led the recent launch of several key AI initiatives, is being promoted to executive vice president, consumer chief marketing officer, reporting to Numoto.
- Ami Silverman, corporate vice president for consumer sales, will report to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer following the company’s recent acquisition of Activision-Blizzard.
Read Nadella’s full memo to employees.
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