Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer are hard acts to follow, especially when you're No. 3 in the software giant's hierarchy.
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Belluzzo out at Microsoft in reorganization
Belluzzo was apparently deeply involved in the discussions and planning around the reorganization within the company that resulted in his job becoming redundant. In a press release, the company says Belluzzo will "transition out of his role...on May 1, although he will continue to work at the company through September to ensure a smooth transition."
There are no plans to replace Belluzzo, who arrived at Microsoft in September 1999 as a group vice president, rising quickly to become president and COO. Previously, he had been with SGI, and before that Hewlett-Packard, where he was highly regarded. But requirements for success at HP and Microsoft are different. Belluzzo's style was a better fit at HP than at Microsoft, where it was hard to see his soft-spoken manner having much effect.
Belluzzo managed many of Microsoft's high-profile consumer products and services, including MSN, Xbox and interactive TV. He may be taking the blame for the lackluster performance of many of the consumer projects, such as Microsoft TV.
A project Belluzzo did have considerable success with is Xbox, although a lot of the praise seems to have fallen to the general manager of the Xbox project, J. Allard. While Allard was undoubtedly instrumental, Belluzzo guided the project to success. However, with few accomplishments under his belt, his removal was not unexpected.
(For a related commentary on Rick Belluzzo, see gartner.com.)
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