Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie is leaving Microsoft at some undisclosed time in the future, and there is no one slated for his replacement.
My immediate take on this is one of two things - One could be that I was right all along, and Ballmer is such an idiot he thinks he is capable of directing the software projects without knowing much about coding, which also shows that because of the hubris of Ballmer, the company will continue on its downward slide. The second could be the very best thing ever announced – that Mr. Gates has decided that he does not like the sedate life of charitable organizations, so he is leaving that to be the bailiwick of his wife, and he is going to announce his return to Microsoft.
That would rally the troops, make Steve Ballmer quake in his corner for a while, and get the company back on some sort of track to progress.
But here is what Microsoft watcher, Mary-Jo Foley, from ZDNet had to say about it –
Just days after he started blogging again, Ray Ozzie has announced plans to retire from Microsoft.
Ozzie is stepping down as Chief Software Architect, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced in an e-mail to employees on October 18. Ozzie will remain with the company for some undisclosed period of time to handle his teams’ transitions. He also will be “focusing his efforts in the broader area of entertainment, where Microsoft has many ongoing investments,” according to Ballmer’s mail.
Ballmer said he will not be appointing another Chief Software Architect. There’s no word on what Ozzie’s plans are following his Microsoft departure.
Ozzie joined Microsoft in 2005 and penned one of the most forward-looking memos in the company’s history (his “Internet Services Disruption” memo.) After that, he went quiet and made very few public appearances.
He championed Microsoft’s Live Mesh and FUSE Labs/Docs.com projects and also helped create the team that developed Windows Azure.
When I wrote my Microsoft 2.0 book in 2007, I questioned whether Ozzie was the right guy to fill Bill Gates’ Chief Software Architect’s shoes. I thought he’d end up as a researcher at Microsoft or in some other role. But I didn’t expect him to leave completely so soon…
Well, you’ve got my thoughts above, hit the comments and give yours [please]. I am interested to see anyone else’s take on this small upheaval at the Redmond giant, which seems to need a bit of cohesion badly these days.