IT Management: Leaving Microsoft: Software Giant's Key Employee Losses
Leaving Microsoft: Software Giants Key Employee Losses
by Darryl K. Taft
Ray Ozzie, hand-picked by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer to head up the overall technological plan for Microsofts product divisions, Ozzie joined the company in 2005 when Microsoft acquired the company he founded, Groove Networks. Ozzie, who left in October 2010, became chief software architect in 2006, assuming the role Gates had held. His legacy is the Windows Azure cloud platform and FUSE Labs, among a host of other initiatives. Ozzie led Microsofts overall move to cloud computing.
Bob Muglia announced his plan to leave Microsoft Jan. 11. Muglia served as president of the Server and Tools Division, overseeing financial results, strategy, marketing and engineering. The division is responsible for Microsoft's infrastructure software, developer tools and cloud platform, including products such as Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, System Center and the Windows Azure Platform. Muglia also was a member of the company's senior leadership team that sets overall business and technology strategy. Before he was named president of STB in January 2009, Muglia was senior vice president for STB, which he helped to grow into one of the most profitable businesses at the company.
Chris Liddell, former senior vice president and CFO, left Microsoft at the end of 2009. Liddell is now vice chairman and CFO at General Motors.
From January 2008 to September 2010, Elop served as the head of the Business Division, responsible for the Microsoft Office line of products, and as a member of the company's senior leadership team. Elop is now president and CEO of Nokia.
As president of the Entertainment & Devices (E&D) Division, Robbie Bach drove the company's multiscreen entertainment vision in such areas as music, gaming, video and mobile communications. Bach's responsibilities included guiding software, services and hardware innovation, and bringing those solutions to market with retailers and partners. Bach also managed Microsoft's worldwide retail relationships as well as media and entertainment partner relationships.
J Allard was chief experience officer and CTO for the E&D Division. He also oversaw Microsoft's first foray into the video game marketthe Xboxand also contributed to the first edition of the specification for the Windows Sockets API.
Bill Veghte spent 18 years at Microsoft, serving as senior vice president, corporate vice president of Microsoft North America and corporate vice president of Windows Server. As senior vice president of Microsofts Online Services & Windows Business Group, Veghte had revenue responsibility for Microsoft's Windows and online businesses. He led the business strategy, sales and marketing across Windows, Windows Live, MSN and Search. He also shared responsibility for OEM sales. Veghte is now executive vice president of software and solutions at Hewlett-Packard.
Tandy Trower worked at Microsoft for 28 years, where he was involved in the development of more than two dozen products, including early versions of Windows. In his most recent role he formed the Microsoft Robotics Group. Trower resigned in November 2009 and has since launched Hoaloha Robotics, a ??Ãnew venture to create software and services to support robotic solutions in the assistive care area.
Brad Lovering joined Microsoft straight out of the University of Washington in 1988, starting in the customer service department. He became a Microsoft Technical Fellow and later helped lead Microsofts "Oslo" modeling framework. He also worked on BizTalk Server and Active Directory, as well as other developer-focused products, ranging from Visual Basic, to Visual J++, to Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework. Lovering left in October 2010.
Chris Wilson was principal program manager for Internet Explorer. He spent 15 years at Microsoft and helped lead the companys Web standards efforts. He now works for Google.
Brian Arbogast was a 24-year Microsoft veteran when he left the company in September 2010. His last position was corporate vice president of mobile services, in charge of the mobile services strategy, platform, and experiences for Windows Live and Windows Mobile.
Brad Abrams, a product unit manager in Microsofts Application Framework team, spent 13 years with the company and worked on its .NET Framework and Common Language Runtime teams. Abrams left in May 2010 to join Google as product manager for developer tools.
Doug Purdy, an 11-year veteran at Microsoft, held a variety of developer-related positions in engineering and developer evangelism. Purdys last position was as software architect, building out the companys modeling strategy with Oslo as well as things like Odata and "Dallas."
Ian Ellison-Taylor was an architect at Microsoft who worked on Visual Studio, Windows Presentation Foundation and Silverlight. He is now a director at Google.
Johnny Chung Lee
Johnny Chung Lee spent more than two years at Microsoft Applied Sciences, where he contributed to the Xbox Kinect. He is now a "rapid evaluator" at Google. He announced his departure Jan. 18.
Alek Kolcz spent nearly two years as principal scientist on Microsofts Bing search engine before leaving for Twitter in January.
Gary Flake joined Microsoft in 2005. As Microsoft Technical Fellow, he founded Microsoft Live Labs and set the technology vision and future direction of the MSN portal, Web search, desktop search and commercial search efforts. He announced his resignation from Microsoft on Twitter in October 2010.
Jim Hugunin brought his Python skills to Microsoft in 2004 and he left in October 2010 to work for Google. Hugunin delivered IronPython, an implementation of Python for .NET, to Microsoft and helped build the Dynamic Language Runtime. In a notice, he said Microsofts decision to abandon investment in IronPython led to his decision to leave the company.
Brad Brooks, Microsofts former corporate vice president for Windows consumer marketing and product management, is joining Juniper Networks. His last day at Microsoft is Feb. 4.
James Hamilton, a database guru, worked for Microsoft from 1997 to the end of 2008. He moved to Amazon Web Services as vice president and Distinguished Engineer. Hamilton was architect on the Microsoft Data Center Futures team and was architect on the Live Platform Services team. Prior to that he was General Manager of the Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services team which was formed as part of the FrontBridge Technologies acquisition.
Jimmy Schementi, like Jim Hugunin, came to Microsoft to help make dynamic language support real for .NET developers. He worked on IronRuby, an implementation of Ruby for .NET. But, when it became clear that Micosofts commitment to the original concept of delivering support for dynamic languages on .NET was dwindling, Schementi left n July 2010.
Philip Su joined Microsoft out of college in 1998, most recently holding the title of principal group manager creating code collaboration tools and cloud services. He also worked as a software design engineer, and managed development teams on early Microsofts Tablet PC efforts, Vista Mobile PC, and Live Search. Su left Microsoft in September 2010 and is now a software engineer at Facebook.
Eddie Amos was most recently general manager of the Developer Platform and Tools Group, where his team was responsible for strategy, evangelism, planning and marketing for products like Visual Studio, Expression, Express, IIS, .NET and Silverlight. Amos left Microsoft in September 2010 and is now vice president of developer evangelism at Juniper.
Dave Thompson is corporate vice president of Microsoft Online, where he is responsible for the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite, a set of messaging and collaboration tools delivered as a subscription service. The suite includes Microsoft Exchange Online for e-mail and calendaring; Microsoft SharePoint Online for portals and document sharing; Microsoft Office Communications Online for presence availability, instant messaging, and peer to peer audio calls; and Office Live Meeting for Web and video conferencing. Thompson said he is leaving after Office 365 launches later this year.
Anand Iyer started with Microsoft as a developer evangelist in 2005 and left in September 2010 as a product manager on Windows Phone 7s developer platform. Iyer also evangelized Visual Studio Team System, Windows Vista, Silverlight, Windows Azure, Microsofts open source strategy, and the BizSpark program to promote startups. Iyer was located in Silicon Valley, where he had links to the Valley buzz, culture and heritage, not to mention all the developers and startups there. However, pressure to move to Microsofts Redmond, Wash., campus led Iyer to leave. In a blog post, Iyer wrote: "I started to realize that I was working at Microsoft, a technology company that couldnt be further removed from the Valley, in every sense of those words." Iyer is now director of product management at IGN Entertainment.
Sam Ramji served as director of platform strategy at Microsoftotherwise known as the companys open-source guruuntil leaving in 2009 to move back to California. Ramji was a liaison to the various open-source communities, working with open-source organizations such as the Eclipse Foundation and the Apache Software Foundation. Ramji gave Microsoft some element of credibility with portions of the open-source crowd. Ramji is now vice president of strategy at Apigee and president of the board of directors at the Outercurve Foundation.
Sara Ford served as the program manager for CodePlex.com, Microsofts open-source project hosting site. She left in November 2010 to join Black Duck Software as senior product and community manager for Ohloh.net.
Lauren Cooney joined Microsoft in May 2008 as group product manager on the Web Platform team, helping drive Microsofts Web strategy by working on Open Source Web initiatives, and providing developers with the right free products and tools to building Web solutions. Cooney left in December 2010 and is now Junipers director of developer evangelism.
Simon Guest was with Microsoft for almost 10 years as senior director of technical strategy, leading the Platform Architecture Team, acting as editor-in-chief of the Microsoft Architecture Journal, pioneering the area of .NET and Java interoperability, and working with customers on mission-critical solutions. He left in November 2010 to become director of mobility solutions at Neudesic.
Vic Gundotra is the outlier on this list, leaving Microsoft in 2006 and joining Google in 2007. He sat out a year because of a Microsoft non-compete agreement. Gundotras departure signaled an issue for Microsoft, which already had lost Kai-Fu Lee and Mark Lucovsky to Google. The loss of Kai-Fu Lee sparked a bitter legal battle and Lucovskys departure became the stuff of legend when he said CEO Steve Ballmer threw a chair and ranted when Lucovsky told him where he was going. Gundotra was a general manager for platform evangelism at Microsoft and is now vice president of engineering at Google.
Scott Prevost joined Microsoft in 2008 when the software giant acquired Powerset, a search engine company where he had been a GM and director of products. Prevost assumed the role of principal development manager for Bing at Microsoft. However, he left that position in January 2011 to become vice president of search product management at eBay.