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Another Microsoft Titan Stepping Down

In a year of high-level executive departures, Microsoft will say goodbye to another senior executive. Kevin Johnson, 47, will be heading to Juniper Networks as CEO in September.

Johnson, a 16-year veteran and the Platforms & Services Division president, joins Bill Gates and Jeff Raikes in heading for the exits this year. He was also co-president for a time with Jim Allchin, who left in early 2007 when Vista shipped. Click here for Kurt Mackie's in-depth news story about Johnson's departure and Microsoft's reorganization of the division into the Windows and Online Services Business.

Microsoft's news release about the change makes it sound like Ballmer initiated the change in the 14,000-person organization rather than simply responding to Johnson's acceptance of a position with Juniper. The move would reflect the reality that Johnson, like his predecessors at the company, has been unable to turn Microsoft into a more powerful player online versus Google. Johnson is described in several newspaper pieces as having been a key driver of the (thus far unsuccessful) Yahoo acquisition attempt.

In any case, Johnson is staying around until September, and many other executives (Steven Sinofsky, Jon DeVaan, Bill Veghte and Satya Nadella) are involved in the shuffle.

Something of a revolving door appears to be forming between Microsoft and Juniper, at any rate: Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop came to Microsoft in January from the COO position at Juniper.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 24, 2008 at 11:58 AM


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