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Ballmer backslaps server veteran Muglia

Gets presidential treatment for doing same job

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Microsoft has promoted Bob Muglia to president of the firm’s server and tools biz.

Boss Steve Ballmer told employees yesterday that he had kicked MS veteran Muglia upstairs in recognition of his contribution to the company’s growth.

Muglia joined Microsoft in January 1988, since when he has helped build the software giant’s server and tools business from “virtually nothing a decade ago” to worth more than $13bn last year, gushed Ballmer.

In his previous role Muglia served as senior veep in the server and tools division at MS.

His responsibilities will remain the same but, significantly for Microsoft execs at least, he now carries the same job title of other big hitters at the firm – business software boss Stephen Elop, and entertainment chief Robbie Bach.

The move has inevitably prompted speculation about who will eventually succeed Ballmer at the top of the Microsoft tree – he is apparently scheduled to retire in 2018. Muglia will then be 58, not necessarily too long in the tooth for the CEO slot. Then again, a lot can happen between now and then.

Ballmer said that Microsoft racked up $60.4bn revs for its fiscal year ended 30 June 2008, of which the server and tools biz brought in 20 per cent.

"The core of our success at Microsoft has always been great people – people who combine talent, drive, vision, customer focus, and leadership," said Ballmer in an email to MS staff.

"Few people at Microsoft embody these qualities more fully than Bob Muglia, and few people have contributed more to the company's success." ®

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