Windows Live search exec exits Microsoft

Apple Store“The Microsoft executive in charge of closing the gap on Web search leader Google Inc is leaving the company, a source familiar with the situation said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports.

Reuters reports, “Chris Payne, corporate vice president of Windows Live search, is leaving Microsoft to start his own company in Seattle, said the source, who asked not to be identified. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.”

“Payne would become the second executive from Microsoft’s Internet arm in the last week planning to leave the company. Blake Irving, a Microsoft vice president who oversees the company’s AdCenter system that sells ads next to search results, plans to retire, Microsoft said,” Reuters reports.

Full article here.
Like rats from a sinking ship.

Related articles:
About-face! Gartenberg abruptly quits Microsoft, returns to Jupiter – March 07, 2007
Gates dumps Microsoft stock – March 05, 2007
Bill Gates unhinged with Apple envy; Microsoft on path to become high profile casualty – February 06, 2007
Windows honcho Allchin retires from Microsoft on Vista launch day; now free to buy his Mac – February 01, 2007
Buh-bye: Senior Zune exec exits Microsoft – January 31, 2007
Key Microsoft exec exits as clock ticks down on oft-delayed, much pared-down Windows Vista release – September 06, 2006
When chairs fly: Another Microsoft exec jumps ship for Google – June 29, 2006
Windows Live head leaves Microsoft less than 24 hours after launch – June 21, 2006
Bill Gates to transition out of a day-to-day role in Microsoft – June 15, 2006


  1. “Chris Payne, corporate vice president of Windows Live search, is leaving Microsoft to start his own company in Seattle…


    He was fired out the door with a flying chair in hot pursuit.

  2. 2 down, another 30,000 or more to go. Oh I forgot, Gate was on Capital Hill recruiting for the Educational Business unit. “Oh the school system is in crisis, and I’m the one that can fix it. Hey, by the way, I’ve got some software for them that will really help their SAT scores”.

  3. In the current post of Mini-Microsoft: Now I’m really scared. First I was pissed-off and horrified at how much and how quickly Microsoft’s number of employees grew for no obvious business need. Now, hearing about the contents in the latest InsideMS post by Chris Owens, we’re not only expanding our building construction and acquisition in the Redmond area quickly to deal with the stuffed-sardine situation most groups have but we’re also… hold on, I’ve got to steady myself… we’re also planning to accommodate another… deep breath… 10,000 to 12,000 Redmond-area hires.

    Microsoft needs at most 5,000 employees to maintain Winblows and Office. Instead they’re planning for 72,000! I need a job at Microsoft. I want to be one of the 67.000 Wallys hanging out in Redmond.

  4. @Towertone

    Are you being homophobic?

    It was a very childish pun. Haven’t you got anything sensible to say?


    I have been saying for some time that the first sign of a major upheaval at Redmond would be a swag of senior management departures. The Zune guy left, now this guy, and another to leave shortly.

    Heads are going to roll. Why? Because Microsoft has been a moneytree for the investment community for years. But earnings were down A WHOPPING 28% last quarter. The excuse was given, at the time, that earnings were pushed into the current quarter because of the vouchers given out by Microsoft…

    … But Vista sales are tanking! And Ballmer has already warned the investment community not to expect much of a boost from Vista. So we should expect another poor earnings result this quarter.

    Two poor results in a row will see more departures. Three will see talk of cost cutting, and four will see the end of Ballmer.

    Microsoft is a big flat bloated company – much like their software. They have NEVER had to operate as a lean and mean organisation, and their management personnel just don’t know HOW to run a lean ship.


    Remember, it is easier to see from the inside – hence the departure of people at the top. Gates first (do you think he didnt see this coming?) and then senior people in every division: Alchin (Vista) Bryan Lee (Zune) Chris Payne (Windows Live Search)…

    The key people will leave – leaving behind their 2ICs. Hence Ballmer will hang in there for a while.

    But the market will force him out.

    Microsoft derive a lot of revenue from server and tools software now. So the failure of Vista doesn’t mean the end of the line for Microsoft. But the company needs the HUGE 75% margin on Windows O/S sales to fund their adventures in other areas.

    This truly is the end of the Microsoft era.

    If you are one of those people who consider Microsoft is the Evil Empire. The be assured the Age of Light has dawned.

    On a less religiously fervent note, its Apple’s time in the sun.

    Make hay people!!

  5. @ PC Steve
    If I was homophobic I would be worried about you getting on my ass all the time.

    Is this the game you are going to play now? That seems much more childish than an attempt at humor. But then again, snobs have no sense of humor.

    Let’s see how much real sense your prediction that Microsoft will be out of business by year end. Yeah, Steve from Sydney, that makes you look real intelligent.

  6. “Chris Payne, corporate vice president of Windows Live search, is leaving Microsoft to start his own company in Seattle […]”

    See, Microsofties have learned that if they quit and go to Google, they risk their lives from flying chairs. So he’s going to “start his own company” and then approach Google about investments or buying it out.

  7. @Towertone

    Don’t flatter yourself…

    … and don’t put words in my mouth. Microsoft will NOT be out of business by year end. Ballmer may be out of Microsoft but they will still be around.

    Try and focus on the intellectual content here – leave the emotional nonsense behind. Your post about Mr Payne contributed nothing to the debate, and was only marginally humourous.

    There is something very important going on here. Change is afoot at Redmond, and the implications of this change will reverberate throughout the industry. I have been in IT since 1977 and I have seen many large businesses “come a cropper”, including IBM – which was, in the 70’s, the Microsoft of the industry.

    So try to resist the temptation to have a cheap shot. If you have nothing interesting to say, resist the temptation to say anything. Look and learn instead. These are exciting times.

    The fall of a giant happens rarely. And even I have never witnessed the fall of a giant such as Microsoft. Yet this is exactly what is happening.

    And the IT world will never be the same.

    (ps: Apple will NOT rise to take Microsoft’s place. The market will fragment and we will see the rise of Linux, Opensource and new operating systems from vendors such as HP and IBM. Novell may even make a resurgence. Who knows…

    When a big tree falls in the forest, there is fierce competition for the sunlight icreated by the fall of the titan. And so it will be when the collapse of Microsoft occurs.

    The birds are already flying away. The groaning will start shortly, and then the collapse proper will occur, producing turmoil in its wake.

    Out of that turmoil something(s) new will appear.

    As I said, exciting times…)

  8. Comment:

    From: SydneyStephen

    Mar 05, 07 – 03:22 pm

    Bill Gates is selling Microsoft stock because he, or his investment advisors, or his foundation’s advisors, believe it is not a good investment.

    And they would be right. I predict we are in for a raft of bad news out of Redmond. Microsoft has NEVER had to operate in a truly competitive environment – with a 75% profit margin of every copy of Windows sold, Microsoft have gotten as bloated as their software. They have a very high cost base. If they cannot increase gross margins they must reduce costs.

    Watch Microsoft treat their staff as badly as their business partners when it no longer suits Microsoft to keep them… Morale will dip and people will start leaving of their own accord – the first signe will be senior managers departing in significant numbers.

    One more lousy quarter and the pressure will be on Ballmer. By end of June analysts will be starting to talk about “turnaround” strategy and some will be issuing SELL recommendations. By end of December there will be talk about spinning off some of the loss-making divisions such as xBox.

    I hear that Microsoft is preparing Zune II for release. Stand by for another disaster. Microsoft will be out of this business altogether by the end of the year.

    What was the official reason for the departure of the Zune head honcho? Microsoft were very quiet on that one…


  9. @Steve

    Yes, I know you are speaking of the Zune.

    Now, if you are gonna make the rules about what people can say here, I think you might want to advise MDN that you are now in charge.

    This is NOT serious stuff. This is people discussing computers in an open forum, like a gathering. Do you stand up at informal functions and tell everyone what is proper?

    How much space did you waste when you jumped on me the other day?

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