Microsoft is bringing Craig Eisler back to work as a general manager in the company's Macintosh business unit, which adapts software for use on Apple's Macintosh computers.
Eisler will replace Roz Ko, who has led the group for seven years and is moving to the Entertainment and Devices Division.
Eisler has been at Microsoft since February, apparently shopping around for the best fit, according to this post on the Microsoft Office for Mac Team blog.
"I would not have guessed this is where I would've landed when I rejoined Microsoft," Eisler wrote. "But after looking at several great options over the course of the past couple months, I jumped at the Mac BU opportunity when I heard about it. ... [T]he icing on the cake -- the thing that I love -- is the chance to work on Mac products and to get to work with Apple. I have been an Apple fan and Mac user for years." (He linked to a post from his personal blog gushing about his top 10 favorite things about Apple.)
Eisler has worked at Microsoft before, running development of the company's DirectX graphics technologies. He was also CEO of Action Engine, a wireless software company, and formed AOL Wireless in 2005, which acquired Kirkland-based mobile software maker Wildseed, as detailed in this story.
Eisler will work on Office 2008 for Mac, due out in the second half of this year, and future versions of the software.
In an unrelated hire, Microsoft announced late last night that Tom Hanrahan was named director of Linux interoperability, a part of Bill Hilf's platform strategy group. Hanrahan reports to Sam Ramji who heads platform technology strategy and runs the company's open source software lab.
Hanrahan will head a new Microsoft/Novell Interoperability Lab, which was announced as part of the two companies' open-source deal in November.
Hanrahan comes with deep open-source experience: He was engineering director at the Linux Foundation and served a stint as senior program manager at IBM's Linux Technology Center in Portland. (Good details on the Portland-Linux connection in this 2004 story by Brier Dudley.)