Ray Ozzie Stepping Down as Microsoft Chief Software Architect
By: Chloe Albanesius
Microsoft announced Monday that Ray Ozzie will step down as the company’s chief software architect.
Ozzie will remain at Microsoft during a transitional period; no exact date for his departure was provided. Until then, he will “focus his efforts in the broader area of entertainment,” Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer wrote in an e-mail to staffers.
“Beyond that, Ray has no plans at this time,” Ballmer said.
Ozzie’s role was “unique,” so Microsoft has no plans to replace him once he retires. “We have a strong planning process, strong technical leaders in each business group and strong innovation heading to the market,” Ballmer wrote.
Ozzie took on the role of chief security architect in 2006, after Bill Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO to focus on his philanthropic work. Previously, he served as chief technical officer starting in 2005, after Microsoft purchased Groove Networks, which Ozzie founder in 1997.
The news comes several months after the May resignations of Robbie Bach and J. Allard. Bach, who was with Microsoft for 22 years and served as president of the entertainment and devices division, retired to spend more time with his family and on philanthropic efforts. Allard, senior vice president of design and development in the same division, left Microsoft after 19 years and became an advisor to CEO Steve Ballmer.
Last month, Stephen Elop, who headed Microsoft’s Office division, also left to become chief executive at Nokia.
Two weeks ago, Microsoft appointed three new division presidents to head its Office, mobile, and interactive entertainment businesses. Don Mattrick officially replaced Bach and was named president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, which includes the company’s Xbox efforts. Andy Lees was appointed president of mobile communications, and Kurt DelBene replaced Elop as head of Microsoft’s Office division.
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