Anyone who thought new Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella might take a less combative approach than his predecessor might want to think again.
Penn was the brains behind Microsoft's "Scroogled" ad campaign, which mocked and criticized rival Google for a number of business practices. Before that, he was a pollster for President Clinton and was chief strategist for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign.
The New York Times profiled Penn after he joined Microsoft, calling him a "political brawler" and saying he was a "a longtime political operative known for his brusque personality and scorched-earth tactics." The impact of the Scroogled campaign caused AdAge to ask: "Could attack ads be the way of the future for consumer tech?"
In his new role at Microsoft, Penn will report directly to Nadella.
As part of the reshuffling, the company also said Tony Bates would be leaving the company. Bates was CEO of Skype when it was acquired by Microsoft, and at various points he was rumored to be a candidate to replace Ballmer.
Another longtime Microsoft executive, Tami Reller, will be leaving the company as well. Reller, executive vice president of marketing, has held many positions at Microsoft over the years.