Another day, another corporate shakeup at another big company. This time around, it’s Microsoft losing two of its leaders, in the form of Kate Johnson and Toni Townes-Whitley. Kate Johnson is (until September 1, 2021) the President of Microsoft U.S., and Toni Townes-Whitley is (until September 30, 2021) the President of Microsoft U.S. Regulated Industries.
As spotted by ZDNet, Johnson posted a farewell address on LinkedIn. In it, she said, “I will be leaving Microsoft after I help the new MSUS president kickoff FY22.” She then went on to give some cryptic insights about her future plans.
For context on who these people are and the magnitude of their announcements, recall that Townes-Whitley is one of the key figures credited with helping Microsoft secure its JEDI deal with the Pentagon. As for Johnson, on her own LinkedIn page, she says, “I lead a 10,000-person field team and am accountable for a $45B P&L.” $45 billion is a lot of money. Needless to say, both presidents have had sizeable impacts on Microsoft and its operations.
It’s the start of a new fiscal year for Microsoft, so changes are to be expected. Even so, these are sizeable departures without formally announced replacements to immediately fill in the gaps (in the eyes of the public). Furthermore, both departures are attributed to “personal reasons,” as said by a Microsoft spokesperson to ZDNet.
What exactly those aforementioned personal reasons are remains unclear, just as it remains unclear what the trickle-down effect of these personnel changes will have on end-users and consumers of Microsoft products (such as Windows 11 or Xbox consoles).