Microsoft Exec Logs off after Yahoo Setback

25 July 2008

REDMOND, Washington: Microsoft's unsuccessful bid for Yahoo is creating repercussions in the upper echelons of both companies.

Earlier this week the web giant announced it would admit corporate raider and investor Carl Icahn and two of his nominees on to its board.

Meantime, the software titan announced the sudden departure of Kevin Johnson, the architect of its ill-fated acquisition attempt.

The 16-year veteran was a long-time lieutenant of ceo Steve Ballmer and president of Microsoft's platforms and services division.

It is unclear whether Johnson's abrupt exit was his idea or his boss's.

Unnamed sources claim he had become frustrated with the company's lack of progress in its online business and was eager to be ceo of another enterprise.

Subsequently it has been reported he is taking a top job at Sunnyvale, California-based Juniper Networks, which designs and sells web services.

The usual ritual exchange of eulogies took place with Ballmer lauding Johnson's record at Microsoft: "Kevin has built a supremely talented organisation and laid the foundation for the future success of Windows and our Online Services Business."

Reciprocated Johnson: "I have been so fortunate to have experienced sixteen amazing years of building Microsoft's business."

Microsoft has not yet named a successor but has said it will split Johnson's duties.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff