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Microsoft corporate-development VP exits

Former investment banker Richard Emerson, who oversaw the software giant's merger and acquisition strategy, has left the company, Microsoft confirms.

A former investment banker who oversaw Microsoft's merger and acquisition strategy has left the company, the software maker confirmed Friday.

Richard Emerson, a former managing director at international investment bank Lazard Freres, was hired by Microsoft in late 2000 to serve as vice president of corporate development and strategy, reporting to CEO Steve Ballmer.

A Microsoft representative said Emerson left the company Aug. 31 and there are no plans to replace him. The corporate development function will now report through Chief Financial Officer John Connors.

In September 2002, Microsoft disclosed that it had loaned $12 million to Emerson when he was hired away from Lazard Freres. At the time, Microsoft said it planned to stop making such loans, which are now prohibited under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

As part of its annual proxy, filed on Thursday, Microsoft noted that Emerson had repaid his loan along with $1.4 million in interest by surrendering 1,134,064 vested options.