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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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Posted by Mike in Bellevue

4:46 PM, Jul 23, 2008

He is really leaving to work for Darcy Burner. You remember, she is the former Microsoft employee with no political experience that writes position papers on foreign policy. Her claim to fame is having served on her homeowner's board. Maybe Mr. Johnson can add the credibility her campaign so desperately needs!

Posted by Joe

5:08 PM, Jul 23, 2008

Doubt it.

Posted by teve

5:30 PM, Jul 23, 2008

Mike in Seattle -

Rep. Reichert is the 404th most effective person in congress today. He's the least effective member of congress from Washington State. If you're worried about credibility, I don't think it's Darcy you should be concerned about.

And aren't you just a little bit off topic?

Posted by 4dawgswoof

6:09 PM, Jul 23, 2008

Rep. Reichert caught the green river killer.

Darcy Burner caught the 10 year old who stole the homeowners association minutes from a mailbox to make paper airplanes with his friends.

Posted by Victor

6:13 PM, Jul 23, 2008

Why does Mr. Ballmer need to conduct a search for a replacement? Is there no succession plan in place at Microsoft? I guess not

Posted by LinuxIsBest

7:56 PM, Jul 23, 2008

This should be no big loss to Microsoft. KJ was and is nothing more than a salesman with little knowledge of how to create software. Guys like Kevin are a dime a dozen, should be easy to replace.

Posted by John Bailo

8:24 PM, Jul 23, 2008

Pretty obvious that Microsoft is about to fall to its knees. That's why Gates left...he didn't want to be blamed...and so abandoned Balmer who is left holding the bag. The OS division failed to produce a new product after 5 years of trying. The Internet group is an also-ran in every category. XBox is now in 3rd place. They only have one game that sold. What's left? Not much...

Posted by steve

9:47 PM, Jul 23, 2008

thought this article might be of interest....

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