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By | Kelly Fiveash 28th January 2011 13:21

Microsoft loses Office 365 man

Yet another cloudy exec bites dust

Microsoft may have its head in the clouds a little too much at the moment, given that it just lost its corporate veep of online services.

Dave Thompson, who headed up Redmond's Office 365 business, is retiring from the company later this year after 21 years at Microsoft.

Microsoft shoved its productivity suite of apps into a cloud-based service in October last year. The arrival of the Office 365 beta was, in effect, a brand overhaul of Microsoft's clunkily-named Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).

Thompson's departure from Microsoft, as reported by Seattle PI, represents the company's latest casualty.

"Last year, Dave shared his plans with his team to retire after Office 365 launches later this year," said Microsoft.

"Dave has had an illustrious career at Microsoft spanning more than two decades.

"During that time, he's been responsible for delivering transformative products like Windows NT, Exchange, and BPOS, and we thank him for the significant contributions he's made to Microsoft and the industry."

Just last week, Juniper Networks poached the software giant's Windows consumer marketing boss Brad Brooks.

In recent months the Steve Ballmer-run company lost the boss of its $15bn server and tools business unit, Bob Muglia, its entertainment and devices chief Robbie Bach and biz division boss Stephen Elop.

Microsoft's top software architect Ray Ozzie and the firm's senior vice president of design and development and Xbox nerd J Allard both recently quit, too.

Earlier this week, Microsoft won a restraining order from a Washington state court, after its ex global government biz general manager Matt Miszewski popped up in a very similar role at cloud computing rival Salesforce.com.

All in all then, Ballmer's crew is going through a tough time trying to stop execs abandoning the good ship Microsoft.

The company has of course been playing hardball with its internal biz strategy by desperately examining "business processes that have remained untouched for years". And at the same time Microsoft continues to sell plenty of shrink-wrapped packets of its Windows operating system, too.

In fact at the last count, the company claimed it had shifted 300m Windows 7 licences. Sadly, that figure clearly didn't impress enough, given the company's recent divorce from so many of its top flight execs. ®

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