MS .NET chief jumps ship – execs-odus resumes?

Just when you thought Paul Maritz wasn't leaving after all...

After a short hiatus Microsoft's exec-related butterfingers syndrome has re-emerged. Paul Maritz, VP of platform strategy and the developer group, has decided to leave the company in order to spend more time with his farm. The news is particularly bizarre, because although in July of last year it did seem like people were plotting against Paul at MS and he was on his way out, in March of this year Maritz took charge of the merged platform and developer operations, making him lead member for .NET and a notch above platforms man Jim Allchin.

Allchin himself of course departed for extended leave shortly afterwards, and Maritz's departure now therefore kind of makes you wonder who's driving .NET. Along with all the other departures, of course, it explains why Microsoft doesn't bother keeping up to date orgcharts on its Web site...

Maritz's role is in part being picked up by VP Sanjay Parthasarathy, who'd previously reported to Maritz, but he's obviously not an old guard top-level heavyweight; Microsoft has few of these left. Parthasarathy will handle business development and developer evangelism, reporting direct to Steve Ballmer, while Yuval Neeman will carry on as VP of the developer division, so the merged divisions may well be being unmerged, unless a new warlord is appointed.

Although Maritz has been presented as a key figure in Microsoft's most recent reorgs (the public ones, that is), "Microsoft insiders" have apparently been telling today's WSJ that his departure has been expected for some time. The WSJ also tells us he's been spending more time at his ranch in "southern Africa," but we can't help recalling that it was that very same publication which, in a story destabilising Maritz's position last year, reported that the ranch was in Zimbabwe.

This is not where you'd like a ranch to retire to, as we've mentioned in the past. The WSJ also tells us this is "where he once contracted a mild case of malaria." Not an obvious attraction either, surely... ®

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