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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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July 23, 2008 4:04 PM

Microsoft President Kevin Johnson departing

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft's huge Platforms and Services Division, is leaving the company, reportedly to head Juniper Networks. Microsoft is splitting the division into two groups, both of which will report to CEO Steve Ballmer.

The Wall Street Journal just posted a story citing unnamed sources who say Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft's huge Platforms and Services Division, is leaving the company to run Juniper Networks. I've asked Microsoft representatives for confirmation, but have not heard back yet.

Update, 4:25 p.m.: Microsoft just confirmed Johnson's departure and announced a major reorganization of his division.

The Platforms and Services Division, which has more than 14,000 employees and is responsible for Windows, and the company's growing suite of online services -- including Internet search -- will be divided in to two groups, both reporting directly to CEO Steve Ballmer.

Update, 4:33 p.m.: The groups will be Windows/Windows Live and Online Services, according to a company statement.

"Effective immediately, senior vice presidents Steven Sinofsky, Jon DeVaan and Bill Veghte will report directly to Ballmer to lead Windows/Windows Live," the statement continued.

The company will search for a leader to fill a new position atop the Online Services group.

"In the Online Services Business, Microsoft will create a new senior lead position and will conduct a search that will span internal and external candidates. In the meantime, Senior Vice President Satya Nadella will continue to lead Microsoft's search, MSN and ad platform engineering efforts," the company said.

Johnson was one of three Microsoft division presidents. He took over the division in September 2005. Johnson led Microsoft's largest acquisition to date, Seattle-based aQuantive, and would have been in charge of incorporating Yahoo into his division.

According to his Microsoft biography, Johnson has been with the company since 1992, holding positions including group vice president of worldwide sales.

Update, 6:14 p.m.: Ballmer sent an e-mail to employees this afternoon laying out his priorities for the current year and explaining Johnson's departure and the reorganization. Read it here.

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