Microsoft executive Bill Veghte, who was instrumental in building the vendor's Office software franchise and more recently helped launch Windows 7 in the wake of the Windows Vista debacle, is leaving the company at the end of this month, according to a note from CEO Steve Ballmer posted on Microsoft's Web site.
Veghte "has indicated a desire to run a business in a more end-to-end fashion and continue to explore new areas in the broad technology, communications and services sector," Ballmer said in a note sent Thursday to Microsoft's executive staff.
Veghte, as senior vice president in the Windows division, worked alongside Steven Sinofsky, then vice president of the Windows engineering group, in launching Windows 7. In July Sinofsky was promoted to the new position of president of the reorganized Windows division. At the time Microsoft said Veghte would be moving to an undetermined leadership position, but that had yet to happen.
Veghte joined Microsoft in 1990 and served in a number of roles at the company. Early on, as an associate product manager, he helped build Microsoft Office from a disparate collection of desktop applications into the industry-dominating application suite it has become. He also helped manage the development of Windows 98 and the development and marketing of Windows Server.
Ballmer's note said Veghte "was instrumental in the delivery and launch of Windows 7, helping us re-energize the Windows franchise." Microsoft at the time was rushing to get Windows 7 to market to recover from the poor reception to its Windows Vista software.