Microsoft's Google fighter leaves abruptly
Who says Microsoft's a slow-moving, lumbering giant? When it comes to eighty-sixing executives, Microsoft can move surprisingly fast. Take the unexpected exit of Martin Taylor, a longtime lieutenant to CEO Steve Ballmer who had recently been put in charge of the company's strategy to take on Google. Mere minutes after reports of his departure hit the Bloomberg wires late on Tuesday, Microsoft had already updated its website to note that the corporate vice president was no longer with the company.

Taylor, who at 36 had already been tapped as a potential successor to Bill Gates, had led Microsoft's anti-Linux push and in March had been promoted to head up marketing for Microsoft's Windows Live push, a response to Google's free, advertising-supported Web software. He even did a Q&A on Monday about the launch of Windows Live Messenger, one of Microsoft's first new Web-integrated software products.

Jupiter Research analyst Joe Wilcox noted on the Microsoft Monitor blog that the departure was "sudden -- and unexpected." A company spokesperson told Bloomberg, "We've made the difficult decision to part ways with Martin." The company wouldn't give further details, but given the usual way Microsoft announces executive departures, that suggests that Microsoft, not Taylor, made the decision for him leave. And the abrupt departure of a longtime Ballmer protege does suggest that the CEO's power at the company is waning.
Posted by Owen Thomas 7:28 PM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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