Craig Mundie, who was Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer up till recently, will retire in 2014. With Ray Ozzie and now Steve Sinofsky gone, some wonder who will drive Microsoft’s key technology vision going forward.

Microsoft's Craig Mundie
photo: Microsoft

Craig Mundie, the 20-year Microsoft veteran who helped chart the company’s  research and technology direction, is now a senior advisor to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, according to Mundie’s updated corporate bio. But he won’t be for long: Mundie plans to retire in 2014 when he turns 65, according to AllThingsD’s Ina Fried.

Microsoft Way SignMundie’s title change — from chief research and strategy officer — and retirement plans were announced internally earlier this month, but Fried surfaced the news for the rest of the world. Most of Mundie’s duties will be assumed by Eric Rudder, Microsoft’s chief technical strategy officer, Fried also reported.

According to Mundie’s updated bio:

“For more than a decade, Mundie has also been Microsoft’s principal technology-policy liaison to the U.S. and foreign governments, with an emphasis on China, India and Russia. He has served on the U.S. National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age. In April 2009 Mundie was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.”

Mundie and Ray Ozzie shared Bill Gates’ strategic vision duties when Gates stepped down in 2006. Both Mundie and Ozzie spent early years of their respective careers at Data General, a Boston-area minicomputer maker.  Ozzie left Microsoft in 2010, in a move that caused many to question just who would drive future Microsoft’s tech vision. One of the candidates for that role, Windows group president  Steven Sinofsky, left the company in November, just after the Windows 8 launch.

While it’s no surprise for Mundie to retire, many will now wonder even more about who will set the software company’s tech agenda going forward.  Ballmer’s background is in sales and marketing.

  1. Its great to see MSFT getting rid of the cob webs. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out Mundie, Ozzie, Jim Allchin! We’ve seen a lot of crap come out of MSFT, not to mention vaporware the past 20 years. Who can forget the vaporware, Cairo OS in the 1990s that Bill Gates promised (back when he was jealous and concerned about the potential of NeXTSTEP), not to mention WinFS, tablet PCs, Vista (and the list goes on). Microsoft had its day in the 1980s and “died” about 1995 (when Douglas Coupland published the book “Microserfs”). How soon before Ballmer gets the axe (i.e., early retirement)?

    1. You are smoking some good ish!

  2. Of course, BOMER will !! What are you thinking??

    Ozzie will get lucky if Microshaft still exists in 2014…


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