Microsoft India to face major changes in top management

Infotech Lead Asia: Microsoft India is set to face major changes in its top management.

Microsoft Enterprise partner group head Karan Bajwa; original equipment manufacturers’ unit head Rishi Srivastava; and Ranbir Singh, head of public sector business are among those currently looking out.

Times of India reported that the churn at the senior level with at least three business unit heads will have a short-term impact but is unlikely to affect adversely in the long run.

Some of these executives are in the job market as Microsoft was not able to satisfy their career aspirations, especially in the context of the mid-2010 elevation of Sanket Akerkar as India managing director and Bhaskar Pramanik’s appointment in early 2011 as chairman.

In a statement, Microsoft said: “Microsoft India has a leadership team in place with an average tenure of over six years and our attrition levels are under 7 percent — well below the industry average.”

According to CyberMedia Research, Microsoft India’s revenue is around $1 billion. Out of this, nearly 90 percent is from domestic sales of its software and the rest from exports.

Microsoft is under pressure globally. Microsoft has posted 3 percent increase in revenue at $21.456 billion in second quarter ended December 2012 against $20.885 billion in the same quarter last year. Microsoft’s net income decreased 3 percent to $7.771 billion from $7.994 billion.

Senior level exodus has already started at Microsoft India.

During the last three months, two senior executives — Sathya Prasad Rai from the small – to mid-market solutions and partner unit and the small and medium businesses solutions head Sushant Dwivedi — left Microsoft India.

In addition, in the last five years, Microsoft has seen three managing directors. Neelam Dhavan, now HP India head, resigned in 2008 while Rajan Anandan left to join Google in 2011.

Two days ago, Forbes  reported that Pacific Crest analyst Brendan Barnicle believes that Microsoft will sell only 600,000 Surface tablets in the quarter that will end in March, down from an initial estimate of 1.4 million tablets. For the fiscal year 2013, he says that 3 million Surface tablets will ship, down from an initial forecast of 4 million.

Barnicle has also cut his forecast for Microsoft revenue for the quarter to $20.1 billion from $20.2 billion. For the entire year, he revised it down to $78.4 billion from $78.7 billion. Barnicle warns that Microsoft faces a much more serious problem than that relatively small decrease, and it’s a warning that Microsoft has heard time and time again:

Recently, Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft, said: “With the launch of SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012, we continue to see healthy growth in our data platform and infrastructure businesses and win share from our competitors. With the coming launch of the new Office, we will provide a cloud-enabled suite of products that will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility.

Arvind Krishna
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