For the second time this year, a major management reshuffle at Microsoft has sent ripples through the software makers security unit.
Just seven months after tapping Ben Fathi to head up the newly formed STU (security technology unit), the Redmond, Wash. company announced that Fathi would move over to manage a Windows Core System development team.
The STU, which handled all aspects of security development, response and outreach, has been scrapped in favor of an expanded Trustworthy Computing team under the leadership of Redmond veteran Scott Charney.
Fathi, a down-to-earth software engineer who worked closely on fine-tuning the security improvements in Windows Vista, will now head up a team charged with developing security, networking, kernel, virtualization and other core system technologies.
A company spokesperson said Charney, who was put in charge of Bill Gates heralded Trustworthy Computing promise in 2002, will assume the security hot seat immediately after the RTM (release to manufacturing) of Windows Vista.
The expansion of Charneys team comes at a time when Microsoft is struggling to cope with a deluge of security vulnerabilities—and malware exploits—targeting millions of Windows users.
His unit will now oversee all security engineering efforts, security response infrastructure and security outreach.
That includes management of the MSRC (Microsoft Security Response Center), the unit that handles communications with external hackers, vulnerability warnings, patch creation and testing, and the companys response to worm and virus attacks.
Charney, who once led the Cybercrime Prevention and Response Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, is the third security czar at Redmond after Fathi and Mike Nash, who left in March 2006 for a preplanned sabbatical.
A Microsoft spokesperson said the Forefront line of enterprise security products will continue to live in the Security, Access and Solutions Division, under the Microsoft Server and Tools Business, led by Ted Kummert.