Microsoft taps Elop successor to lead Office software unit

Promotes 2 others to head mobile communications, interactive entertainment divisions

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Microsoft has selected a successor to former Office software division president Stephen Elop, who left last month to become chief executive at Nokia.

Kurt DelBene, 50, takes over the position vacated by Elop, the company announced on Friday.

An 18-year Redmond veteran, DelBene most recently led engineering and development teams for the company's division responsible for business products such as Office 2010. The Office Division DelBene now heads includes products such as Office, Exchange, SharePoint and Visio. He will report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer.

Two senior vice presidents also were promoted to lead their respective groups, Microsoft said.

Andy Lees, 45, becomes president of the company's Mobile Communications unit, while Don Mattrick, 46, assumes the identical position for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) division.

Lees, who has been with the company for 20 years, actually has been running the mobile division since February 2008, Microsoft said. The unit developed Windows Phone 7, which is expected to be released for the holiday season.

The IEB unit led by Mattrick is behind Microsoft's global Xbox 360 product line. The division's latest effort will be seen early next month when Microsoft unveils Kinect for Xbox 360, which Redmond heralds as the "world’s first controller-free gaming and entertainment system." Mattrick has been with the company for three years.

Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) were down 18 cents, or 0.73 percent, to 24.31 in Friday's mid-afternoon trading.

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