Two high-profile Microsoft presidents are leaving the company

Kate Johnson and Toni Townes-Whitley, two high-profile Microsoft presidents, have both announced they're leaving the company
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Kate Johnson, President of Microsoft U.S. and Toni Townes-Whitley, the President of Microsoft U.S. Regulated Industries, are both leaving the company. The pair announced their departures over the past two days. Both are leaving for "personal reasons," a company spokesperson said.

Johnson has been President of Microsoft U.S. for four years. In that job, she led a 10,000-person field team and was accountable for a $45 billion profit and loss center, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Johnson posted a note on LinkedIn today, June 30, about her departure. She said she will stay to help the new Microsoft U.S. president make the transition and then see what's next for her. 

Townes-Whitley has been the President of US Regulated Industries for the past three years. Her LinkedIn profile notes that she has been responsible for a 2,000-plus-person sales organization and an $11 billion profit and loss center. Before heading Regulated Industries, she was Corporate Vice President of Industry at Microsoft. 

I asked Microsoft why these two high-profile women execs both announced their departures in the past couple of days and received this statement from a spokesperson:

"Kate Johnson, President, Microsoft U.S., and Toni Townes-Whitley, President, U.S. Government & Regulated Industries, have decided to leave the company for personal reasons. We are deeply grateful for their respective contributions and wish them all the best in the future."

I also asked who will be replacing Johnson and Townes-Whitley. No word back so far.  

It is the end of Microsoft's fiscal 2021 today. And it's also just a couple of weeks before Microsoft's major annual partner conference, Inspire, kicks off virtually.

Recently, Microsoft announced that one of its highest ranking execs, Jean-Phillipe Courtois, would be moving to a new role and passing the global sales, marketing and operations torch to Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Worldwide Commercial Business.

So maybe this is just an after-effect of Althoff's consolidation of power? Yet another reorg? I'm not sure.

Update: According to internal emails, Johnson is leaving Microsoft on September 1. Word of Johnson's departure began leaking out on Tuesday. I'm hearing her replacement as MSUS president may be announced as soon as tomorrow, July 1.

On Wednesday, Johnson announced Townes-Whitley's plans to leave Microsoft for "her next big transformational role in a new industry." Townes-Whitley will remain in her existing position until September 30.

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