Well, I should be sweating to the 80's soundtrack at the ProClub with about half of Microsoft that's trying to squeeze in there for January to burn off Christmas cookies, but here everyday that passes yet another exit hits us, and today we have a biggie...
Jaffe: Exits Microsoft dealmaker Bruce Jaffe going startup - shoot, why swing billion dollar acquisitions when you can be a billion dollar acquisition?!?!
Raikes! Microsoft Announces Retirement and Transition Plan for Jeff Raikes, President of the Microsoft Business Division Company announces it has hired Stephen Elop from Juniper Networks; Raikes will continue at Microsoft through September 2008.
Wow, I'm surprised. I can understand that Mr. Raikes has had a long, long career at Microsoft, but as we wonder about the leadership in the upcoming (and no doubt somewhat dysfunctional) post-Gates era, my money was riding on Mr. Raikes to step up and perhaps be on the shortlist for running more of Microsoft. At least Jeff gets to go out on a high-note.
And of all of our leadership at Raikes level, I respect him the most. There's something more to him (there is something there there) that I admired when around him.
And Stephen "Who?" Elop? I found it ironic that while Mr. Ballmer in the announcement email was praising Mr. Raikes ability to recruit, mentor and nurture Microsoft leadership, Raikes was not being replaced by someone he groomed. I tell you, if I was a Raikes direct I would seriously be considering whether I was ready for a new challenge, at Microsoft or elsewhere.
The Market's reaction on Friday? MSFT Extreme Makeover has an interesting comment on this:
The [external] choice for replacement seems to have the right pedigree, but Raikes did a solid job with Office and was widely seen as the leading candidate for eventual Ballmer replacement as CEO. So I don't think the market is going to react positively to the news tomorrow.
Two more quick things:
CES: MSFT Extreme Makeover has a compilation of BillG and CES and a take on the $1,200,000,000USD acquisition of Fast Search.
Xbox departures: a commenter makes the following observation:
It's weird that Mini and all the commenters here have failed to notice the mass exodus from the Xbox team in 2007. By my count, more than 15% of the product team (dev/PM/test) have left Microsoft for Apple, Sony, Google, Yahoo, MySpace, Amazon, and various other companies (including several startups, local and in the Valley).
This is great progress towards a Mini-MSFT!!
(Though, it's mostly bad attrition and has some other negative implications you can work out on your own.)
The main complaint I hear about the games / Xbox area is things are drying up given the "show me the money" religion that's been adopted. Some pet projects (or just random projects) that had nothing to do with future profit have been disbanded. Man, I can't even squeeze out some crocodile tears for that...
Administrivia: expect more CRF'ing after that last post. Boy, did that suck given all the high hopes I had for positive, aspirational comments. I'm bearing a grudge. I'm human. I'm upping the moderation a bit more to be on-topic and less open to general gripes by anti-Microsofters.