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Muglia to Head Server and Tools Business

Veteran Microsoft executive Bob Muglia will fill one of the key holes left by the executive reorganization that Microsoft unveiled in September.

Muglia becomes senior vice president of the company's Server and Tools Business (STB). Muglia takes over what had been the Server and Tools division run by Eric Rudder. Following the launch of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 next week, Rudder will transition into a newly created role working directly for Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect.

The Server and Tools Business is one of the most important business units for Microsoft. In fiscal 2005, which ended June 30, the division accounted for nearly $10 billion and racked up 16 percent growth. Continued growth is likely with the first major product release in two years coming next week -- when SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 launch.

Muglia most recently served as senior vice president for Windows Server, and he has been guiding and publicly advocating Microsoft's plans for Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows "Longhorn" Server. In 17 years with Microsoft, Muglia has also managed development of storage products, MSN, Office and Visual Studio.

In explaining that Muglia will report to Jim Allchin, Microsoft clarified how responsibilities will be divided within the new Platform Products and Services division. Allchin is co-president of the division with Kevin Johnson, who is slated to take over management of the entire division when Allchin retires after Windows Vista ships.

The direct reporting relationship of Muglia to Allchin suggests that Allchin, an engineer by training and product development manager by experience, will continue to manage the technical direction of the division's platform products, while Johnson will manage other aspects. Microsoft also disclosed last week that Sanjay Parthasarathy, who leads the Developer & Platform Evangelism team, will report directly to Johnson.

Rudder will focus on some of the company's key advanced development efforts and overall technical strategy. Rudder served previously as a technical assistant to Bill Gates.

Rudder's new role will involve the company's key advanced development efforts and overall technical strategy. He will transition into the new role following the launch of Visual Studio and SQL Server.

The New York Times identified Rudder this year as one of the most likely candidates to take over Microsoft from Gates or CEO Steve Ballmer. In a Q&A with a Seattle newspaper coinciding with the reorg, Gates added nuance to that speculation by saying that he may look to cede the chief software architect's role to a younger executive someday while remaining with the company as chairman.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.