The head of Microsoft's German subsidiary has quit over differences with the US headquarters.

Jürgen Gallmann, CEO of Microsoft Deutschland - one of the software giant's largest subsidiaries - resigned on Friday. In an email he sent to employees, the executive complained of Redmond imposing increasing restrictions on the German operations and showing little interest in local requirements.

Microsoft has said only that Gallmann had asked to be released from his contract due to differences in views about the future strategy of Microsoft Germany.

Gallmann will be replaced immediately by Klaus Holse Andersen, the current VP of Microsoft Business Solutions, who will report directly to Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International.

A former manager with IBM, Gallmann joined Microsoft in 2002. Under his direction, the German subsidiary increased its workforce from around 1,500 to more than 2,000.