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Originally published March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM | Page modified March 3, 2014 at 12:31 PM

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New Microsoft CEO boosts ex-Clinton aide in staff shakeup

Former political operative Mark Penn reportedly is to become chief strategy officer under new CEO Satya Nadella’s executive reshuffling, and Tony Bates, who was passed over for the CEO job, will depart. Tami Reller, the executive vice president in charge of marketing, is also leaving.

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Microsoft’s new Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, in an effort to reignite growth, is shuffling management and putting former political operative Mark Penn in the new role of chief strategy officer, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Tony Bates, who was passed over for the CEO job, is leaving the company, with Eric Rudder, the head of advanced strategy, taking over his duties, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven’t been announced.

Tami Reller, the executive vice president in charge of marketing, is also leaving. Replacing her is Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela, the people said.

The shake-up is the most extensive yet for Nadella, who was named CEO in February after a five-month search and is tasked with speeding up a turnaround at the world’s biggest software maker. He’ll lean on a former political strategist in Penn, who worked on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential bid. More recently, Penn developed Microsoft’s “Don’t Get Scroogled” advertising campaign, a political-style attack on rival Google.

The overhaul follows last month’s announcement that hardware group chief Julie Larson-Green will move to the applications and services unit.

Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw declined to comment. The departures of Bates and Reller were previously reported by the Re/code blog.

Nadella, a 22-year Microsoft veteran, is the company’s third CEO after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.

Bates was among the leading internal candidates to replace Ballmer, along with Nadella and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner.

Bates, a former Cisco Systems executive, ran Microsoft’s Skype unit before becoming an executive vice president in July.

Reller, who joined Microsoft in 2001, was also promoted to executive vice president in July and led marketing for the Windows 8 operating system.

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