Microsoft Software Chief Ray Ozzie Resigns

By Cindy Waxer October 19, 2010

Ray Ozzie joins a long list of executives who have recently stepped down from high-level positions at Microsoft. Ozzie, who had replaced Bill Gates as chief software architect, was best known for spearheading the development of Lotus Notes. In 2006, he became chief software architect after Gates left the position, and oversaw the company’s cloud computing initiatives, including the Azure platform and Internet services.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the news of Ozzie’s departure spread in an e-mail sent to Microsoft employees from chief executive Steve Ballmer. Ballmer wrote that Ozzie will focus on the Redmond giant’s investments in the field of entertainment during a transition period and leave the company in the coming months. Ozzie "has no plans at this time" for another job, Ballmer wrote. The e-mail provided no explanation for Ozzie's departure.

Ozzie’s resignation follows on the heels of several other recent departures. In September, Nokia appointed Microsoft's former head of the business division, Stephen Elop, as president and chief executive officer. A statement from the company read: "The time is right to accelerate the company's renewal; to bring in new executive leadership with different skills and strengths in order to drive company success. The Nokia Board believes that Stephen has the right industry experience and leadership skills to realize the full potential of Nokia.” 

In May, Microsoft announced that Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division, planned to retire from the company in the fall. Bach, who joined Microsoft in 1988, helped launch Office, Xbox and Xbox Live, the “Halo” franchise, Windows Phones, and Zune. “I’m at the time in my life where I want to dedicate more time to my family and my nonprofit work, including my work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Bach in a statement.

And last December, Chris Liddell, who oversaw Microsoft’s global acquisitions, accounting and reporting as its CFO, left the company only to be scooped up by General Motors to serve as the automaker’s vice chairman and CFO. Liddell replaced Ray G. Young, a 20-year veteran of GM.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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