Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie to Leave Microsoft
Ray Ozzie, the man hand-picked five years ago to replace Bill Gates as Microsoft’s chief software architect, will be leaving his position shortly, according to a Financial Times report. The news is unexpected, but what really has us thrown for a loop is that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer apparently has no plans to fill the position once Ozzie’s gone. Here’s what we know.
Ozzie was an early force for cloud computing at Microsoft, issuing the now-famous “Internet services disruption” memo early in his tenure that called for every team within the company to bolster their businesses with online services.
More recently, Ozzie was at the forefront of the push to develop and release the Windows Azure cloud computing platform, getting in front of partners and developers to evangelize the benefits of the SaaS model.
Ballmer has evangelized the cloud, and credits Ozzie with pushing him and the company in that direction in the memo announcing Ozzie’s sudden departure. But that same memo seems to have the attitude that Ozzie is leaving because his work at Microsoft is complete and the company is moving towards cloud leadership full steam ahead — and as The VAR Guy (and others) has noted, that’s simply not true, despite steps in the right direction.
At the start of 2010, Ballmer was under fire from all sides, with many questioning his leadership of Microsoft. Will Ozzie’s departure put him back in investor crosshairs?