Report Indicates That Windows Phone’s Joe Belfiore May Return To The IE Team


Update: TechCrunch has confirmed the news. Belfiore will take on new Internet Explorer responsbility, in addition to his current Windows Phone work.

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore will absorb some of the responsibilities formerly executed by Internet Explorer’s corporate vice president, according to sources speaking to The Verge. Microsoft declined to comment to TechCrunch on the potential move.

The role was vacated by Dean Hachamovitch, who announced his internal transfer yesterday. Belfiore’s current job title is “corporate vice president and manager for Windows Phone Program Management.”

It’s almost confusing. AllThingsD reported in September that Belfiore would “lead a group focused on phones, tablets and PCs” under the new re-org structure. To see him move again so quickly could hint at internal fluidity outside the VIX boundaries that were expected.

The exit of Hachamovitch was not a surprise, given the recent release of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. His project was over, so the timing of his exit is reasonable. This is doubly true during a reorganization, because there is increased surface area for new internal opportunity.

The transfer of Belfiore could make some sense, as the third update to Windows Phone 8 has been completed, and is being rolled out at the moment. But to see him move from a hardware focus to running part of the Internet Explorer project is slightly hard to parse.

In favor of the move being logical is Belfiore’s past in the Internet Explorer group, where he ran user interface for several young iterations of the browser. The return would therefore be a very late homecoming.

According to Warren: “Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore will take over some of Hachamovitch’s responsibilities for Internet Explorer. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer plans have revealed that Belfiore will lead a team focused on the app side of Internet Explorer and the user experience.”

Therefore, Belfiore is letting go of a plum role – “devices” is half of Microsoft’s new business model – for a less visible role running a part of Internet Explorer?

I don’t think the move would be castigation for his performance at Windows Phone, as the device group just had the best year of its young life (in a 12-month context). This one is weird. More as it comes.

Top Image Credit: Flickr