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Microsoft's Mac unit gets new boss

Eric Wilfrid will assume leadership of the group that creates Office for Mac, replacing Craig Eisler.

Microsoft said Friday that it is changing the leadership of its Macintosh Business Unit, the group responsible for Office for Mac.

Eric Wilfrid, a product unit manager in the division, will succeed Craig Eisler, who is moving to a role elsewhere in Robbie Bach's entertainment and devices unit. In an interview, Wilfrid declined to say what exactly his former boss will be up to or even to whom Eisler will report.

Eisler took over in June 2007 when then MacBU head Roz Ho moved to a secretive mobile job within the entertainment unit.

Wilfrid said that Office for Mac remains the group's primary effort and will continue to be its "center of gravity," although the unit also has a role in helping other Microsoft units evaluate their Mac plans. For example, the Live Mesh group this week released a Mac version of its service.

Wilfrid said the Mac unit currently has 230 employees, which he said was a lot bigger than the group was even as recently as when it shipped Office 2008 for Mac.

Wilfrid wouldn't say whether the staffing up would lead the unit to expand its products beyond the Mac versions of Office and Messenger. "We're always looking at the possibilities," he said. "There aren't any details that we are ready to share at this time."

Wilfrid, a 14 year Microsoft veteran, most recently had led all MacBU engineering efforts. He got his start writing code for PowerPoint and for most of his time has been based in Mountain View, Calif. He moved to Redmond a couple of months ago.