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Microsoft Rejigs Windows Phone Management Team

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Andy Lees will report diectly to Steve Ballmer, while Terry Myerson takes on Windows Phone division

Microsoft will be reshuffling its top mobile management team, according to a company email.

CEO, Steve Ballmer told staff in an email Monday that he would be making two leadership changes to Microsoft’s Windows Phone Division. Andy Lees, president of the Windows Phone Division, has moved up into a newly created role, and Terry Myerson, corporate vice president for Windows Phone Engineering taking over Lees’ responsibilities.

Big plans ahead

According to the email, Ballmer has big plans for Andy Lees (pictured), who will be reporting directly to him to “take advantage of a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8″.

This leaves Myerson to lead the Windows Phone Division, adding Lees’ responsibilities onto his existing role without the benefit of his job title.

It is unclear, at this point, whether these changes will be permanent, or whether, as the tone of the email suggests, something interesting and integrated is afoot, with Ballmer stating that Microsoft has “tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential.”

There is a visual synergy between Windows Phone and Windows 8 through the latter’s Metro interface. The new role for Lees implies that there may be a deeper unification in the works.

Microsoft, which has struggled to play catch-up in the mobile market, dominated by the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android, recently teamed up with Nokia in an effort to make a dent in its competitors’ market share. The Nokia Lumia, launched in Europe, has already recieved its first software updates to fix known problems on the handsets.

According to recent reports, Microsoft is also expected to launch its  Windows 8 tablet in 2012, with the operating system optimised for touch screens.  Perhaps this management musical chairs is a sign that the company wants its PC and mobile operating systems to play together in the near future.