Seven high profile execs who left Microsoft

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Server and Tools President Bob Muglia is the latest high-profile executive to depart Microsoft, with CEO Steve Ballmer saying Muglia will be replaced and leave the company this summer after 23 years. With Apple and Google posing strong competition, Microsoft has undergone numerous executive changes. Here are a few recent ones.

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Ray Ozzie

Chief software architect Ray Ozzie announced his retirement from Microsoft in October 2010, five years after joining Redmond. Ozzie previously was one of the creators of Lotus Notes and while at Microsoft pushed the company into the world of cloud computing.

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Robbie Bach

Entertainment and Devices Division President Robbie Bach was Microsoft's highest-paid employee in 2009, earning $6.24 million. But by May 2010 Microsoft announced that Bach, who was responsible for the Zune, Xbox and Windows phones, would retire after 22 years with the company. The cancelled Courier tablet project and poor mobile phone sales were seen as contributing to a shakeup in the Microsoft mobile division, which also led to the departure of executive J Allard.

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Stephen Elop

Microsoft business software head Stephen Elop moved on to bigger and better things in September 2010, when he left to become CEO of Nokia, still the world's largest cell phone maker. Elop, also a veteran of Juniper and Adobe, spent just under three years at Microsoft and was responsible for Microsoft Office products.

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Bill Veghte

Veghte spent nearly two decades at Microsoft before leaving in January 2010. As senior vice president of the Windows business, Veghte "was instrumental in the delivery and launch of Windows 7, helping us reenergise the Windows franchise," according to Steve Ballmer. Veghte is now an executive vice president at HP.

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Chris Liddell

Chief financial officer Chris Liddell resigned from Microsoft in November 2009 after four years with the company, and was given a $1.9 million severance package along with a gag order. Despite his resignation, Liddell agreed to continue helping Microsoft in future litigation.

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Bill Gates

The most obvious one of all, of course, but co-founder Bill Gates will probably never leave Microsoft completely. Gates was the longtime CEO before giving up his position to Steve Ballmer, and continued working full time at Microsoft until June 2008. He remains at Microsoft as chairman, but not in a full time role.

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Future departures undefined Steve Ballmer?

No CEO lasts forever, but Steve Ballmer has kept the chief executive spot at Microsoft for an impressive 11 years. A stagnating stock price has led to industry speculation that Microsoft would do better with a new CEO, but there's no public indication from Redmond that any changes are on the way.

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