Microsoft names veteran insider as Office head

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks during his keynote address at the Search Marketing Expo in Santa Clara, California in this March 2, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp named company veteran Kurt DelBene as head of its lucrative Office business on Friday, taking over from Stephen Elop, who left the world’s largest software company to become chief executive officer of Nokia Corp last month.

Microsoft’s Office suite of business applications -- including well-known programs such as Word, Outlook, SharePoint and Excel -- is a huge money-maker for the company and central to its move toward providing software online.

Office provided almost all of the $11.8 billion in profit reported by the Microsoft Business Division last fiscal year, just less than half of the company’s total operating earnings.

DelBene, 50, who has worked at Microsoft for 18 years, will only run the Office business, not the whole of the Microsoft Business Division, as Elop did. Kirill Tatarinov will continue to run Microsoft Business Solutions, which is part of the same unit. Both will report to CEO Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft also said it had promoted Andy Lees to president of its phones business and Don Mattrick to president of its interactive entertainment business, also both reporting to Ballmer.

Together, the two have been running Microsoft’s entertainment and devices unit since Robbie Bach announced plans to retire in May.

Microsoft shares were down 0.2 percent at $24.44 on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn