Head of Microsoft’s Digital Transformation Platform Group leaves company

First brought on as a strategic advisor to Satya Nadella, James Phillips will leave Microsoft after a decade.

What you need to know

James Phillips, the president of Microsoft’s Digital Transformation Group will leave the company immediately.
Microsoft Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie announced the move in an email today, and Phillips shared the news of his departure on LinkedIn.
Phillips worked at Microsoft for over 10 years and oversaw the company’s business applications and services.

After ten years at Microsoft, James Phillips, will leave the company immediately. Phillips joined Microsoft in 2012 as a corporate vice president and strategic advisor to Satya Nadella, who has since become CEO of the company. In 2020, Phillips became the president of Microsoft’s Digital Transformation Platform Group, which oversees the tech giant’s business applications and services.

With over 15,000 people around the world, the Digital Transformation Platform Group is quite large. It includes Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Azure AI Platform, Azure Data Platform, Azure IoT Platform, and the Microsoft Cloud.

ZDNet first reported the news publicly, citing an email from Microsoft Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie. Phillips has since confirmed the departure on LinkedIn.

Guthrie’s email did not specify where Phillips was headed, instead stating that the president would leave for an unnamed “external opportunity.” Before his departure, Phillips was on an extended sabbatical.

According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, it’s likely that Microsoft will not replace Phillips. Rather than fill his role with a single individual, the groups that he oversaw will be split up and added to other departments.

Charles Lamanna’s Business Applications & Platform organization, Eric Boyd’s AI platform organization, and Rohan Kumar’s Azure Data organization will all join the C+AI leadership team and report directly to Guthrie.

Along with the news of Phillips’ departure, Guthrie outlined several changes organizational changes that are on the way. Microsoft’s Health & Life Sciences engineering team will now be under the Nuance R&D organization led by Nuance CEO Mark Benjamin, who will report to Guthrie.

Nuance Enterprise business and product management will be part of the Business Applications and Platform organization.

The IoT and Edge engineering teams are being consolidated “to ensure we have deeper synergies in IoT and the work we’re doing across Azure Arc, Azure Stack, and Azure Edge Zones,” according to Guthrie.

All changes noted in Guthrie’s email are effective immediately.

Head of Microsoft’s Digital Transformation Platform Group leaves company