Microsoft Executive Exodus Continues: Two Cloud Leaders Exit
Microsoft seems to be leaking top talent in 2011. First Robert Muglia leaves the Servers and Tools Business. Now, TalkinCloud’s hearing that Microsoft lost two cloud executives in the last week or so: Matt Miszewski, who left a position in Microsoft’s public sector cloud sales division to take a job at Salesforce.com before a lawsuit put a pause to the action. And Corporate VP of Microsoft Online Services Dave Thompson (pictured) has announced his intention to end his decades-long career with the company after Office 365 ships. The apparent departures surface as Microsoft strives to fill roughly 144 cloud computing-related positions.
First, credit where credit is due. TalkinCloud got the good word on Microsoft’s brain drain from The Microsoft Blog at Seattlepi.com, the online presence of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Miszewski v. Microsoft
Miszewski reportedly left Microsoft on December 31, 2010, and it seems he took a few weeks off before Salesforce.com announced on January 18 that he’d be taking the reins as senior VP, Global Public Sector. It didn’t take long for Microsoft to seek — and obtain — a temporary restraining order on his assumption of the position while they pursued a lawsuit against Miszewski.
The trouble, according to Microsoft, is that Miszewski signed an employee agreement not to bring any of his confidential knowledge or customer relationships to a competitor. And in his former role at Microsoft, he sold the exact same type of cloud CRM solution to the exact same kind of public sector customers as he’d be dealing with at Salesforce, Microsoft alleges. And Microsoft’s seeking a permanent kibosh on the hiring plans within a year.
Thompson’s departure is both more straightforward and less expected. As a major managerial force at Microsoft Online Services, he’s responsible for the delivery Microsoft BPOS (soon to be Office 365) and by extension the enterprise thrust of the company’s cloud strategy.
But now, TalkinCloud is hearing that when Office 365 makes its big debut later in 2011, Thompson is going to retire to spend more time with his family after spending the last 21 years working his way to the top at Microsoft.
While TalkinCloud wishes Dave Thompson all the best in what sounds like a happy retirement, we’re still concerned about the cloud leadership that seems to be leaving Microsoft in droves. The trend may have started with Ray Ozzie, but there’s no telling if it’s stopped.