Juniper: Johnson to Take Over as CEO in September

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Juniper Networks confirmed Thursday that Microsoft's Kevin Johnson will become its new CEO in September, taking over for current Chairman and CEO Scott Kriens.

Kriens will remain chairman of Juniper and play an active role in directing the strategy of the company, Juniper said in a statement. Johnson also will become a member of Juniper's board of directors when he joins the company.

Microsoft unveiled yesterday that Johnson, president of its Platforms and Services division, would be departing the company, but did not say where he was going. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Johnson was departing for Juniper.

At Microsoft, Johnson has been in charge of the company's as-yet unsuccessful bid to acquire Yahoo or its search assets. His departure Thursday was announced along with a reorganization of the Platforms and Services division that breaks out Microsoft's search and advertising platform from other online applications branded under Windows Live, as well as the Windows OS and its development platform.

Many see Johnson's departure as part of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's plan to make drastic changes in the company's online services business to improve the company's competitive position against Google. So far, Microsoft has made little progress in gaining market share against the search giant, and its online services business has been unprofitable for many years.

Johnson joined Microsoft in 1992 and has held a range of positions at the company, including serving as vice president of worldwide sales, marketing and services. He also oversaw corporate operations and IT functions that supported the work of Microsoft's employees around the world.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Johnson worked for IBM's systems integration and consulting business. He began his career as a software developer.

In a statement, Kriens said he was proud of the work he's accomplished in his 12 years at Juniper and called Johnson a "world-class executive" with whom he looks forward to working to shape the company's future.

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