Microsoft is tapping Margaret "Peggy" Johnson to serve as the company's executive VPof business development.
The appointment is a coup for the company. Johnson spent the past 24 years at Qualcomm Corp., but was brought to Microsoft from the smartphone chip maker in the hopes of boosting Microsoft's ability to create new deals to expand the company's footprint in the mobile device sector.
The move comes as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella aims to streamline the company's efforts to branch out. With the company's recent acquisition of Nokia and its mobile phone division, Microsoft is poised to roll out new devices in the near future. With Johnson at the helm, the company has a leader who understands the smartphone market.
The 52-year-old executive was also president of the San Diego-based company's global market development, which is largely the reason Nadella brought her on board. Nadella also hopes that Johnson's experience will help give the company an edge in promoting its services as appealing to smartphone and tablet users.
"Peggy shares our worldview and knows what it takes to drive new growth in mobility and the cloud," Nadella said.
Johnson will also become the third woman to join Microsoft's 15-person team of senior executives. It should also brush aside criticism of a lack of diversity, which has sparked controversy across the tech world over the lack of opportunities for women and minorities.
The appointment comes only weeks after Microsoft announced a series of layoffs that will see around 18,000 workers become unemployed over the next 12 months. But Nadella believes that the move will help streamline the company's focus as it attempts to enter new arenas it has largely left untouched.
And analysts tend to agree with the CEO's assessment of where the company is heading, Tech Times reports.
"To my mind, Satya Nadella's [WPC] keynote was the most definitive and clear vision and game plan commitment coming out of any top IT company CEO in a long time," said analyst Anurag Agrawal of Techaisle, a global SMB IT market research and industry analyst organization. "He has recognized that there is very little difference between a consumer and a professional, that today's consumer is living in a collaborative economy, that individual productivity impacts professional group productivity, and therefore he has laid down the gauntlet of re-designing productivity in a collaborative, multidevice, post-PC world."
Johnson, who will join Microsoft on Sept. 1, is also a board member of the concert promoter and ticket seller Live Nation Entertainment.