Apparently Jeff Raikes, while working on Microsoft's deal to buy FAST (Fast Search and Transfer), also was planning his own exit.
Raikes, 49, head of Microsoft's Business Division, plans to step down in September, Microsoft said in a statement Thursday. Stephen Elop, former Juniper Networks chief operating officer, will fill the role.
"Given the success of our business and the depth of leadership we have in place today, the time is right for me to leave the MBD business in the capable hands of our new generation of leaders," Raikes said. "I remain committed to Microsoft and will work full time between now and September when I retire. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to working closely with Stephen and the MBD leadership team to ensure a smooth transition."
Elop, 44, also has ties to one of Microsoft's chief rivals, having served as Adobe Systems' head of sales after that company's acquisition in 2005 of Macromedia. Elop had been CEO of Macromedia.
Raikes is best known for heading the Office business. In recent years, his responsibilities grew to include all of Microsoft's business software. Most recently he had also been heading Microsoft's efforts in unified communications.
"There is no overstating the incredible impact Jeff has had during his amazing career at Microsoft," CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement. "I'm confident that the deep and talented team we've got in place to fill Jeff's shoes will continue focusing on fulfilling the needs of our business customers around the globe. I'm looking forward to working with Stephen to drive the business forward."
As part of the transition, the company's Server and Tools Business will move out of MBD, and that division's head Bob Muglia will report directly to Ballmer.
Microsoft also said Wednesday that Bruce Jaffe, head of the company's mergers and acquisitions operation, is leaving at the end of February.
As a side note, Beyond Binary and her sources are going out for a nice dinner of crow followed by egg on their faces, following the Monday post, "Microsoft's Raikes planning deals, not exit." Who knew that Raikes could both negotiate with Norway and plan his departure at the same time?
Raikes said he had been talking for quite some time to Ballmer about his desire to move on, though few inside the company were aware of his plans. Apparently Raikes got a big kick out of the Monday post.
Always glad to amuse.CNET News.com writer Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.