Brian MacDonald, the former Microsoft manager in charge of the company's stealth Web-based productivity-suite project at the end of the 1990s, is coming back to help run the search group, according to sources close to the company.
Microsoft veteran MacDonald led the NetDocs project back in 1999. NetDocs was to be a Web-based word-processing and calendaring system, which Microsoft officials decided to kill in order to prevent possible competition with Microsoft Office.
Late on Friday, Microsoft officials confirmed that MacDonald is rejoining the company, but wouldn't confirm his exact responsibilities.
"I can confirm that Brian is coming back to Microsoft reporting to Satya (Nadella). His start date and final job description are being finalized now," she said, via e-mail.
Nadella is the Corporate Vice President in charge of Microsoft's recently realigned Search and Advertising Platform group.
MacDonald joined Microsoft for the first time in 1989, when Microsoft purchased his company and turned its technology into Microsoft Project. MacDonald later led the group that built Microsoft's Outlook e-mail client. He subsequently went on to work on Microsoft's .Net Services Group, which in the early 1990s. In that role, he was the Senior Vice President in charge of Subscription Services.
MacDonald left Microsoft in the early part of this decade. (I haven't been able to find the exact date or where he went. Anyone?)
Dane Glasgow, the former general manager of Microsoft's Live Search effort, resigned from the company last month. He was one of a number of Microsoft search executives to leave during the past couple of months.