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Microsoft marketing veteran Mich Matthews to move on

Mich Matthews, a 22-year Microsoft veteran and head of the company's Central Marketing Group, is leaving the company this summer.

In my job as a Microsoft watcher, I've seen lots of Microsoft execs come and go. There are few I expected to outlast. But one of those I thought would be at the 'Soft forever -- 22-year Microsoft veteran Mich Matthews -- has announced she'll be leaving the company this summer.

Matthews is the Senior vice president for Microsoft's Central Marketing Group, and a member of the company's Senior Leadership Team.

In that role, Matthews has been overseeing global marketing for Microsoft, which includes "branding, advertising, public relations, research, events, packaging, relationship marketing and internal communications functions."

Matthews told Ad Age that she announced her retirement last night. She said she will be helping Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner and CEO Steve Ballmer find her replacement. She also said she doesn't have another job lined up. She told reporters it was time for her to try something new. (If there's more to her departure than this, I haven't heard it... so far.)

Microsoft officials confirmed in January that the company was shopping around the part of its ad spending that was handled by Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Universal McCann. The estimate of the value of the contract was $1 billion. Publicis Group’s Starcom MediaVest unit ended up winning a substantial percentage (according to reports) of Microsoft’s North American media-buying dollars.