Microsoft On Line Chief Decided to Leave the Company

Kevin Johnson, the executive in charge of Microsoft’s struggling online business, is leaving the company. Microsoft announced Wednesday evening that Mr. Johnson was departing to become chief executive of Juniper Networks.

Johnson is president of Microsoft’s platforms and services division, which includes both the online services business and Windows software for personal computers. Microsoft also said that the division that Johnson headed will be split into two groups: Windows/Windows Live and Online Services. Both groups will report directly to Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

“Kevin has built a supremely talented organization,” Ballmer said in a statement. “This new structure will give us more agility and focus in two very competitive arenas.”

Johnson’s departure isn’t surprising in light of the poor performance of Microsoft’s Online Services Business, which reported a $488 million loss in operating income in its recently concluded fiscal fourth quarter, compared to $210 million during the same quarter last year. For the year, the Online Services Division racked up an operating income loss of $1.2 billion, compared to $617 million the previous year.

Meantime, SVP Satya Nadella will continue to lead Microsoft’s search, MSN and ad platform engineering efforts and SVP Brian McAndrews will continue to lead its Advertiser & Publisher Solutions Group (APS), focusing on display advertising and integrating recent acquisitions such as Massive Inc, Navic Networks, ScreenTonic SA and YaData Ltd.

Source: NY Times

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