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Juniper confirms Microsoft's Johnson to become new CEO

25 июля 2008

Juniper Networks Inc. confirmed that the man who led Microsoft Corp.'s bid to buy Yahoo Inc. is leaving the software giant to take a job as Juniper's chief executive.

Kevin Johnson, 47 years old, will lead the Silicon Valley maker of networking hardware as Microsoft scrambles to re-energize its struggling Internet business.

Johnson, as president of Microsoft's platforms and services division, was in charge of both its online efforts and its flagship Windows operating system. Along with his departure, Microsoft announced a reorganization of the massive business unit.

The changes reflect deep dissatisfaction by Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer with the performance of Microsoft's online business. The company over the past decade has invested billions of dollars in online services only to watch Google Inc. and a host of others grab most of the profits.

"I am delighted to join Juniper," Johnson said Thursday, adding he was "looking forward" to using his experience to help Juniper "deliver great value to Juniper's customers, partners, employees and shareholders."

Johnson was part of the small team of Microsoft executives that led the effort in January to bid for Yahoo, which would have been a deal valued at nearly $50 billion and Microsoft's largest acquisition.

In the meantime, Ballmer is reversing a decision he made three years ago, against the protests of certain Microsoft executives, to merge the Windows business with Microsoft's online services. At the time, Ballmer touted the move as a way for Microsoft to compete by fusing "software"- namely Windows - and "services," or the Internet.

Under the reorganization, Johnson's group - Microsoft's largest by head count - will be split into two, one part overseeing the Windows operating system and related Windows Live online services and a second, which will oversee Microsoft's online services.

The changes are designed to bring "more agility and focus in two very competitive areas," Ballmer said in a statement.

The online group will again be run as an independent unit, which will include Microsoft's Internet search, online advertising and MSN services. Microsoft said it will begin a search for someone to fill a newly created position that will oversee the group.

Ballmer, meanwhile, will head the Windows group, a sign of the importance of that group as Microsoft's largest source of revenue and profit, yet a business that is struggling to reverse a negative public perception of its core product Windows Vista.

Источник: Total Telecom

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