Who's in, out at Microsoft

With all the executive shuffling going on, it can be hard to remember who's who at the center of Redmond. Beyond Binary tries to sort things out with a chart of notable hirings and departures.

There have been a fair number of changes at Microsoft HQ of late, so we wanted to provide a program for those keeping score at home. Here are some of the top executives who have joined the company or are leaving the executive ranks.

This list is neither chronological nor exhaustive. It leaves out recent departures such as dealmaker Bruce Jaffe and strategy executive Charles Fitzgerald.

Instead, I've focused on a few key folks who have left or are leaving shortly who have the biggest impact in Redmond, as well as some key outsiders Microsoft has recruited in recent years.

Who's out:

Bill Gates

Bill Gates
OK. Well, the Microsoft founder isn't leaving the software maker completely. But he did cede his chief software architect title and plans to shift to part-time work in July.

His is the impact most likely to be felt across the company. Even as the company has grown, there was still the notion of a "Bill review" where a project's technical merits were discussed, as well as his twice-yearly "Think Week" where employees submitted papers on new ideas for the company.

Jeff Raikes

Jeff Raikes
Definitely a key part of Microsoft's old guard, Raikes is a onetime Microsoft sales chief, who, in recent years, has been responsible for building the Office franchise and expanding into other areas, such as business intelligence and unified communications.

Raikes, who joined Microsoft from Apple in 1981, is giving up the reins of the business software division at the end of the month, but will remain at the company until September.

Jim Allchin

Jim Allchin
Allchin, who headed the Windows unit, left Microsoft in January 2007, the day after Vista shipped. Allchin had a well-earned reputation as a perfectionist and tireless champion for quality and user experience.

Critics note that, under his watch, Windows projects were often late and had to have planned features taken out to meet already delayed deadlines. Steven Sinofsky, now in charge of Windows engineering, was known at the Office unit for getting releases out on time and staying "on message" in public.

Who's in:

Stephen Elop

Stephen Elop
Elop, who was hired on Thursday to replace Raikes , will bring a number of relevant experiences when he joins Microsoft later this month. His telecommunications experience at Juniper Networks could help on the unified communications side, while his experience at Adobe Systems could help Microsoft with its Silverlight push.

However, one financial analyst characterized him as a "job-hopper." In his most recent job, Elop was at Juniper for just one year.

Ray Ozzie

Ray Ozzie
Ozzie's been there since 2005, but his influence has continued to grow. He's now chief software architect, Gates' old role, and in charge of the company's Live services push.

Ozzie's hiring has been heralded by Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer, but we've heard precious little from him in recent months. He spoke at just two major public events last year--the company's Mix trade show as well as Microsoft's financial analysts' meeting.

Steve Berkowitz

Steve Berkowitz
The former Ask CEO, who joined Microsoft in April 2006, has been pushing the software giant to think less geeky with its Windows Live services.

However, the company's search share has continued to fall, and Berkowitz saw his fiefdom scaled back as part of a March 2007 reorganization. An insider said he may not be the right fit even for his present role.

Brian McAndrews

Brian McAndrews
Seen as a rising star within Microsoft, McAndrews was CEO of Aquantive, which Microsoft snapped up last year for $6 billion.

He now heads up Microsoft's advertiser and publisher efforts, within Kevin Johnson's Platform and Services unit. His domain includes the former Aquantive ad engines, Microsoft's homegrown AdCenter, as well as mobile acquisition ScreenTonic and in-game ad engine Massive.

Kevin Turner

Kevin Turner
Turner has also been around for a while now, having been hired as chief operating officer since August 2005, when he was hired away from Wal-Mart Stores.

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About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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