Microsoft’s Mundie cedes strategy role on way to retirement

Microsoft's Craig Mundie

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.

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