Key Microsoft executives depart en masse

Microsoft Corp. has announced that, effective September 2008, Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division (MBD), will retire from the company following a nine-month transition period to transfer his daily responsibilities and management of the division.

The company also announced that Stephen Elop, formerly chief operating officer (COO) at Juniper Networks Inc., has been hired as president of the Microsoft Business Division.

Raikes, 49, joined Microsoft in 1981 and spent his early years driving the company’s applications marketing strategy and success in graphical applications for the Apple Macintosh and the Microsoft Windows operating system. As director of Applications Marketing, he shaped the product strategy and design of Microsoft Office. In 1990, Raikes was promoted to vice president of Office Systems. From 1992 to 2000, he was responsible for Microsoft’s sales, marketing and service initiatives, and became group vice president of the Worldwide Sales and Support Group. In 2000, Raikes returned to the business groups to focus on growing Microsoft’s productivity applications and expanded the business to include unified communications, business intelligence, business applications and services.

Todd Bishop reports for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “The past week has brought a series of Microsoft executive departures, and the company [yesterday] confirmed another: Rob Short, corporate vice president on the Windows Core Technology team, opted not to return to the company after a yearlong sabbatical. His decision was effective in December. Short had been at Microsoft since 1988, according to his online bio.”

“The news about Short follows word of the planned departures or retirements of Bruce Jaffe, the company’s acquisitions chief; Charles Fitzgerald, general manager of platform strategy; and Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division. Separately, Bill Gates, the company’s chairman, will shift to a part-time role later this year,” Bishop reports.

Full article here.

Like rats from a sinking ship.


  1. I think no one wants to be under Ballmer’s “leadership”

    I mean, we all know Jobs can be a tyrant and all, but I don’t believe he has ever thrown a chair. That kind of lack of restraint makes people nervous.

  2. For those who want to see Microsoft sink (yeah, I’m probably in that group), I don’t think this is especially good news, as they may move up/bring in people who can fix the problems. Given the choice, probably better to keep the old regime, who has proven they know how to screw it all up.

  3. “For those who want to see Microsoft sink…”

    Guys, only losers wish bad luck to their competitors. If you believe that much in Apple, then Microsoft or not, Apple should go up. If you trully want Microsoft to sink, then deep inside, you lack confidence!!!!

  4. a reader comment from the article
    “About the only person left I guess is Ballmer. I almost feel sorry for the rank and file Microsoft worker now. All of the big wigs that have run the company into the ice bergs of complacency, hubris, and antitrust convictions are taking the lifeboats and getting off as quick as they can. Microsoft’s best days came and went in the late 1990’s. Now the ship is taking on water and beginning to list. But the band plays on: “Developers, developers, developers, developers!.””

  5. I love my Mac and love “giving it to M$” but seriously competition is good for all, it stimulates innovation, drops prices, and is generally considered a good thing for all involved (especially consumers!) If M$ came up with a product line (or do I say a working OS) I`d be more than happy to give it go. Perhaps this will shake up the old guard and introduce some much need new blood and innovation

  6. Mac+, you’re right about all of that, but I don’t lack confidence. I actually don’t care if Microsoft sinks or not. What I like is change for the better, I like things to simpler, more streamlined. I am not anywhere close to being as tech savvy as most of the people here, which is why I’ve become such a fan of Apple. They make products that are so much easier to use and understand than anybody else, for the AVERAGE user, which is what I am. Before iPod, I had an mp3 player that I couldn’t figure out how to work. Before I got my macbook, I used Windows for years, never really knowing what the hell was going on. Before the iPhone, I had cell phones that were OKAY, but nothing special at all. I think Microsoft represents so much of what is wrong with technology. To me, Microsoft is like the government…bloated, confused, confusing. If Microsoft would trim down and get their mind right, I wouldn’t have any problem with them at all.

  7. @Mac+ – True if MS was truly engaged in competing. But because of the despicable methods MS has used to get where they are and stay there, because of the billions required to license, maintain and secure their shoddy software upon which the world so depends, because of the glorification and validation of ruthless, narcissistic greed Gate’s corporate culture has passed into the conscience of the American mindset, we should all cheer-on the demise of this company.

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