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01.25.08

Off-Topic: The Secret Crumbling of Microsoft’s Key Staff

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 10:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Quiet exodus in bright daylight

Just what has been going on at Microsoft recently without a grossly-biased press covering this properly? The previous post promised a partial roundup. One needn’t even go as far back as Jim Allchin’s and Bill Gates’ departure.

Windows Team

Veteran Windows architect resigns from Microsoft

On the heels of a week of news of a number of Microsoft executive departures and reshufflings, another has come to light. Rob Short, Corporate Vice President for Windows Core, has resigned from the company.

MS Insider: The Office Crew Isn’t Smart Enough to Supplant Real Windows Developers

“With Alchin retiring, MarkL and MarkZ, two of the most talented architects in MS already having left, the picture gets really ugly for the Windows division,” my friend claimed, and the BV’s core team members, Ian McDonald, Jack Mayo, Todd Wanke, Clyde Rodriguez and others are starting to connect the dots.

[...]

He concluded ominously. “A trainwreck of biblical proportions looms. Pick a good seat on the sidelines, trainwrecks this large take awhile to complete. Vista may be the last MS OS for some time to come, especially if Cutler decides to play hardball.”

Executives

Juniper Networks exec to succeed Microsoft Business Division President Raikes

Another reason I consider the Raikes announcement timing odd: Why announce Raikes’ departure a day after acknowledging the defection of your mergers and acquisitions chief Bruce Jaffe? You could make the argument that Microsoft wants to get all its defection/churn announcements out of the way at once. But I’m not sure I’d look at things the same way, if I were one of the company’s “image makers”….

Microsoft also announced on January 10 that Bob Muglia, the Senior Vice President in charge of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business, is going to move out of the Business Division and report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft loses top executive in China

“Li Gong is currently exploring other career opportunities,” Microsoft said in a statement to News.com.

[...]

In a September 2005 Business Week interview, Ballmer touted Gong as one of several key hires that Microsoft had made.

Most recently, Gong has served as managing director of Windows Live China and as Vice President of Microsoft China R&D Group.

Gong’s name came up in the case over Kai-Fu Lee, the top Microsoft executive whose hiring by Google sparked a multistate legal battle.

Microsoft losing acquisition playmaker

In a previous life Jaffe was the CFO for Microsoft’s MSN division, and also had roles overseeing acquisitions related to Microsoft’s consumer business, groups like MSNBC and Microsoft Games.

Microsoft’s OEM chief defects to Lenovo

While so many of us Microsoft watchers were preoccupied with the hasty departure of former Microsfot CIO Stuart Scott, the resignation of the company’s OEM chief slipped right by most of us.

Zune

Microsoft says Zune executive will leave company

Bryan Lee, corporate vice president at Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, also played a key role in shaping the Xbox game console business and the introduction of its Internet Protocol television software.

Live

Yet another Microsoft search exec calls it quits

In March, Blake Irving, the Corporate VP in charge of the Windows Live platform, announced his plans to leave Microsoft, effective this summer. Payne announced his resignation from Microsoft shortly after Irving made his announcement.

Another Microsoft Search reorg: Shum now leads engineering

That same month, Windows Live Platform VP Blake Irving resigned, as did Chris Payne. the Corporate Vice President in charge of Windows Live Search.

Microsoft Search Leader To Leave Company

The Microsoft Corp. vice president who led the company’s push into Internet search is leaving the software giant as the effort he helped launch loses ground against lead competitor Google Inc.

Danny Thorpe quits the Windows Live development team

Danny Thorpe, one of the higher-profile hires Microsoft made to its Windows Live team, has decided to leave for greener pastures.

Microsoft Windows Live VP to resign

Blake Irving, a Corporate Vice President in Microsoft’s Windows Live Platform group, is resigning his post, according to sources close to the company.

Former Microsoft Search Chief Bill Bliss On Early Search Missteps

Bill’s biggest regret? Not bypassing middle management that wasn’t listening to him scream about the coming threat of Google and going right up to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.

at least no chairs were thrown…

A friend of mine was walked out of Microsoft today.

I’m not talking about Stuart Scott, the now former Microsoft CIO who was canned for “violating company policies.” No, another friend decided to leave the MSN Live Search team and join Google Kirkland.

XBox Team

Peter Moore, the project’s long-time leader is no longer at Microsoft. But there’s more.

XBLA’s Ross Erickson leaves Microsoft, heads over to Sierra Online

Of course, this follows XBLA General Manager Greg Canessa’s departure a couple weeks back. While having two of the most senior Xbox Live Arcade execs jump ship in a two week time span after a particularly long string of subpar Wednesdays — nothing, Ms. Pac-Man, Lumines add-on, nothing, Root Beer Tapper, Paperboy, nothing — might seem to imply certain disaster, Ross insisted that he and Greg’s decided to leave under entirely different circumstances.

XBLA main man jumps ship

In somewhat surprising news, Greg Canessa, the big guy behind Xbox Live Arcade, has left the Microsoft compound for PopCap Games.

Raikes and Other Exits

It’s weird that Mini and all the commenters here have failed to notice the mass exodus from the Xbox team in 2007. By my count, more than 15% of the product team (dev/PM/test) have left Microsoft for Apple, Sony, Google, Yahoo, MySpace, Amazon, and various other companies (including several startups, local and in the Valley)…

Others

Microsoft Businesss Solutions Group’s Burgum to resign

Microsoft Corp.’s Business Solutions group senior vice president Doug Burgum will resign, effective June 30, and leave the company to pursue other opportunities, the company said on Tuesday.

Database head to leave daily duties at Microsoft

Paul Flessner, who leads Microsoft’s data storage and platform division, will step down from his daily duties after the new year.

Microsoft Windows hardware leader takes a ‘vacation’

Veteran Softies are dropping like flies lately. The latest Microsoft exec to leave is Jawad Khaki, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Hardware Ecosystem.

Anti-Linux Propaganda (Bill Hilf)

Microsoft’s open source chief takes on Windows server marketing

The change comes amid a long-building storm that exploded in May, when the company said that Linux violates 235 Microsoft patents.

Good riddance.

Even Evangelists

Evangelists are what Microsoft calls “cheerleaders”. Have a look:

Evangelist Gartenberg back to being analyst

After only three weeks at Microsoft as an “evangelist,” Michael Gartenberg is returning to his old job as vice president and research director at JupiterResearch.

Robert Scoble and and Niall Keneddy are two related departures. One man asks:

Will Microsoft Survive the Next 10 Years?

I am not really an expert in this but when I read all the negative headlines and articles I ask myself if Microsoft really will survive the next 10 years.

[...]

I am pretty sure that the Open Source Community, the new Ubuntu, Google and of course Apple are those companies that are ready for our century and they will get more and more people that know what they really want.

There are many more of course, but keeping track is difficult because of the secrecy. Novell, by the way, is not better off. The same goes for Linspire, as we have meticulously documented in this Web site.

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