Windows veteran Veghte quits Microsoft

Windows veteran Veghte quits Microsoft

Summary: After spending the last several months considering other available jobs at Microsoft, Windows veteran Bill Veghte has decided to look for a job outside the company where he has worked the past 20 years, he announced on January 14.


After spending the last several months considering other available jobs at Microsoft, Windows veteran Bill Veghte has decided to look for a job outside the company where he has worked the past 20 years, he announced on January 14.

Until last summer, Veghte was Senior Vice president for the Windows business, and was responsible for the business strategy/planning, sales and marketing across Windows, Internet Explorer and Windows Live properties and shared responsibility for Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sales. In July, when Steven Sinofsky was appointed President of the Windows division, Veghte said he was going to look for a new role inside the company.

(Tami Reller, the Corporate Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Windows and Windows Live, is handling many of those duties these days.)

Veghte (with whom I spoke briefly by phone today) said he had been looking for a new job at Microsoft doing something new. That would be challenging, given he's done everything from field sales, to working on CE, Office and Windows Server. In the end, after meeting with CEO Steve Ballmer, he decided to leave the company and seek a position elsewhere. He said he currently doesn't have a job and is open to considering a variety of opportunities.

(I did ask if Veghte was one of the Microsoft layoff casualties and was told he was not.)

In his note about Veghte to employees, Ballmer had this to say:

"Bill 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 sectors.  I want to thank Bill for his important contributions to Microsoft over nearly two decades and wish him the very best in his new endeavors."

In his own resignation note, Veghte told a story about how he came to join Microsoft. From that note:

"20 years ago I sent my resume west and got a rejection letter. I knew all about Asian culture but little of computers and software.

"I tried again. Got an interview, flew out, crashed the rental car on the 520 bridge, spent 4 hours in the ER, put on a neck brace, and went to the interviews."

He got the job: To help market Windows 3.0. Most recently, he was marketing Windows 7. Veghte said over the last few months he felt as though he had made good on his Windows 7 commitments and was satisfied with how the product was doing.

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, IT Employment, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • And the *Mass Exodus* continues...

    As many veterans of this corporation leave in increasing numbers when will the management team awaken to the root causes?
    • Um

      People come and go. That's true with any business. Nobody here reports on Google or Apple peoples leaving so it seems only as if Microsoft is loosing people faster than the humans fled the 12 colonies after the Cylon attack.
      Galactica Actual
      • @Galactica Actual

        Oh, yes they did! Back in the late 90's that was all they could talk about was Apple's "Brain Drain" Especially when they left Apple to go to Microsoft.
    • Mass Exodus? Increasing numbers?

      I do believe you are overstating things here, and by quite a bit.

      Ten people can not fit into two chairs, so sometimes there is no room for you. Other times a career oportunity is better elsewhere, like at an automobile manufacture, where a CFO might become the next CEO very soon?

      And many a TOP talet that brought Google where they are have left for other adventures.

      Is there cause for concern there, too?
  • RE: Windows veteran Veghte quits Microsoft

    The internal work health index last fiscal was a terrible result and I don't think HR have the slightest clue on what they are doing. They seem to constantly let Managers get away with being passive aggressive bullies and when I've heard employees complain about it - they then tell them "yeah you should just leave the team"

    I left because my Manager and I just couldn't see eye to eye on the future of Silverlight, I still don't think he fully understands the developer mindset.

    Scott Barnes
    Former Product Manager
  • If you want to achieve something

    why work at MS?

    The company has no major product for a decade despite
    USD8+ billion in claimed annual R&D expenditure.

    You can only promote copying Apple for so long. Things were different
    when you could go around bulling the market to make them believe you
    were innovative, and they were too scared to call your bluff.
    Richard Flude
    • Get a grip, Richard

      [i]You can only promote copying Apple for so long.[/i]

      Like Apple did with Xerox? And Kodak? Nokia? Time machine looks really familar to something already found in Server2003.

      Should I continue?

      Come on, when did Apple [b]not[/b] copy someone else?
      • Take it and run with it

        No one denies the significant contribution of Xerox to the GUI, but to ignore Apple's contributions is silly.

        Yes, Apple didn't invent the MP3 players, but created the market for it with iPod + iTunes.

        Apple didn't invent the mobile phone, but created a new market with core animation and multi-touch and app store.

        If you think time machine is windows server 2003 shadow copy, then you've never used time machine (or don't understand shadow copy).

        "Should I continue?"

        Please do, but give specifics : for the laugh;-)

        But it's worth a try: name original contributions MS has made? Ajax?
        Richard Flude
        • @Richard Flude

          They came up the the Trash Can, pull down menus, menu bar and Dynamic scroll bars, not Xerox. All of which MS and Linux uses in there GUI, Xerox didn't.
          Apple also didn't invent the 3.5" Floppy, CD ROM drive or the trackpad, but they were the first to use it.

          I could keep going to, but you know as I Richard, these guys don't want to admit they are wrong.
          • Apple didn't "invent" those.

            [i]They came up the the Trash Can, pull down menus, menu bar and Dynamic scroll bars, not Xerox. All of which MS and Linux uses in there GUI, Xerox didn't.[/i]

            Actually, most of those elements were seen first in a short-lived GUI for MS-DOS called VisiOn. Additionally, while the Xerox Alto didn't have them, the Xerox Star, introduced in 1981, [i]did[/i].

            [Edit] Of course, you'd be better off talking about things Apple did present to the public first, such as drag-and-drop, graying out to describe a "disabled" item, and, yes, the trash can. However, many of these are rather small to be bragging about, so either way, I'm not sure it's worth arguing about.

            Additionally, many companies were doing research on the same thing at the time - that's why I said "present to the public first". We don't know that they were developed independently. I'm not saying they were, but similar things have happened both before and since.
          • @MarkKB

            Show me the proof.

            Here is a link to a Xerox Star...


            The scroll bars on the Star were not dynamic and it didn't use a menubar or pull down menus, it used contextual menus.

            Neither did VisiCorp's Visi On. And it was released after the Lisa.


            You were saying something about revisionist history?
  • he can now start a FOSS company

    and make money hands over fist!
    Linux Geek
    • Talk is cheap

      Why don't you do it so we can less of your posts while you deal with the real
    • How will he do that?

      If he's not charging money for his product AND giving his product's core IP away for free so that any Tom, Dick or Harry can copy it, re-brand it and sell it as their own?
  • RE: Windows veteran Veghte quits Microsoft

    Its really sad to see such an awesome company diminish like this. I read this blog regularly and also read Microsoft 2.0, however recent news including this one are really starting to concern me.

    Yesterday Microsoft decided to block my hotmail account and understandably I'm quite pissed...

    I hope they start listening to us soon!
    • You have to make room for new talent

      If you're not able/willing to grow your organization then people have to leave/be removed in order to make room for fresh new talent to grow organically or to be hired in.

      It appeared clear in the above article that there just weren't any roles available that he was interested in. Time to move onto new pastures - am CERTAIN that he'll enjoy FAR better compensation at another company (MS only pays in the 60-70th percentile).
  • Windows7

    I think this is an awesome article and really turn the stones which are remain unturned.