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Key Microsoft Office exec is following Ballmer out the door

Microsoft exec team departure

Ever since Windows 8 was released in October 2012, Microsoft has undergone a massive internal reorganization. Shortly after Windows 8 was released, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky left the company. Then in mid–2013, former CEO Steve Ballmer announced his “One Microsoft” strategy that left many of Sinofsky’s close colleagues with unclear roles. Soon after this strategy was announced, Ballmer announced that he would be retiring, and after a long search process, Satya Nadella was promoted to CEO in February. 

After this upheaval, Microsoft’s executive team is starting to settle down, though, with the announcement today that one of the last of Sinofsky’s close associates is leaving. According to Re/code, Antoine Leblond is leaving Microsoft after working there for nearly 25 years. He spent most of those years working closely with Sinofsky; he spent 20 years on Microsoft Office and recently worked on building the Windows Store and cloud services for Windows 8.

“After almost 25 years, I’ve decided it’s time for me to go out and see what the non-Microsoft world has to offer,” Leblond wrote in an internal e-mail. “Every single day I have had here has been amazing in its own way, and I will never look back on all of these years with anything but fondness, pride in what we’ve accomplished together, and a real appreciation for having been lucky enough to be part of so many awesome things.”

“I am sad to leave all of you, but also incredibly excited for what comes next,” Leblond wrote.

New CEO Nadella seems more than ready to leave the Ballmer-Sinofsky era behind, with his announcement last week of Microsoft Office for iPad and his strong commitment to a “mobile-first, cloud-first” Microsoft. Later this week, Microsoft is hosting its annual Build Conference in San Francisco.