Microsoft Reorganizes; Allchin to Retire in 2006

Microsoft Tuesday unveiled a major realignment of its company structure into three new divisions, each of which will have its own president.

The software giant also announced that Jim Allchin, the company's group vice president of platforms, plans to retire at the end of 2006, following the launch of the next version of the Windows client operating system, Windows Vista.

According to a Microsoft press statement, the three new divisions will be the Microsoft Platform Products & Services division, led by Kevin Johnson and Allchin as co-presidents; the Microsoft Business division, with Jeff Raikes as president; and the Microsoft Entertainment & Devices division, with Robbie Bach as president.

Vice Presidents Move Up the Ladder

Johnson is currently group vice president of worldwide sales, marketing, and services; he will be solely responsible for the Platform Products & Services division once Allchin retires, according to Microsoft. Raikes holds the post of group vice president of information worker business, and Bach serves both as senior vice president for the company's Home and Entertainment division and as its chief Xbox officer.

In addition, Lotus Notes creator and Groove Networks founder Ray Ozzie, currently Microsoft's chief technology officer, will take responsibility for driving Microsoft's software-based services strategy and execution across the three new divisions, according to Microsoft.

Eric Rudder, senior vice president of servers and tools at Microsoft, will be taking on a new role as well. He will work directly for Bill Gates, Microsoft's founder, chairman, and chief software architect, focusing on the company's advanced development efforts as well as on its overall technical strategy, according to Microsoft. Rudder will move into his new role following the launches of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005; both are scheduled for November 7.

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