Who’s in, who’s out?

In an effort to get Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) moving in the right direction again, newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella will appoint former political operative Mark Penn as the company’s first chief strategy officer. Tony Bates, who many believed would be named CEO and Tami Reller, the executive vice president in charge of marketing, are both said to be leaving the company. Eric Rudder, the head of advanced strategy, is said to be set to take over Bates’ duties while Reller will be replaced by Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela.

Satya Nadella Microsoft

The report is perhaps the biggest piece of news for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) since announcing the appointment of Nadella to the CEO position in February but that by itself won’t turn the company towards growth. Penn was a driving force in Hillary Clinton’s run for president in 2008 and was responsible for Micro “Don’t Get Scroogled” campaign against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Nadella’s challenges

While Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has seen growth in its stock price since Nadella’s appointment as CEO of nearly 6%, the company has trailed the S&P 500 index in three of the last four years. Whether its pending acquisition of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) will help Microsoft wrestle market share from Android and iOS remains to be seen, though Windows phones sales are up as the company shifts to devices and services. Additionally, the world’s largest software company faces growing competition from others with cloud based applications that threaten its Windows business.

While Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was up to start the day, 10 AM saw a sharp drop in the company’s stock price today. It’s presently trading at $37.72, down $0.59 or 1.58%.

Frank Shaw, a spokesman for the Redmond, Washington-based company, declined to comment on the departures of Bates and Reller which was first reported by the Re/code blog when contacted by Bloomberg.