Top online, Windows exec to depart Microsoft

Microsoft on Wednesday said the executive in charge of its Windows and Web operations is leaving the company.

Kevin Johnson had served since 2005 as president of Microsoft's MSFT platforms and services division, which included the Windows operating system and Windows Live programs such as Web e-mail and instant messaging. The division also included online advertising, search and Microsoft's MSN sites.

Johnson's three years at the helm overlapped with the anticlimactic release of Windows Vista and, more notably, with Microsoft's recent failed bid to buy Yahoo Inc.

He also spearheaded the $6 billion acquisition of online advertising company aQuantive in 2007. Incorporating aQuantive has boosted Microsoft's Web ad revenue, but not enough to put the software maker in league with leader Google Inc.

Johnson, who joined Microsoft in 1992, will help with a transition, Microsoft said in a statement. He has taken a job with networking hardware maker Juniper Networks Inc., according to the Wall Street Journal. Neither Microsoft nor Juniper returned calls seeking comment.

Microsoft says the platforms and services division will now be split in two, with heads of the Windows and online groups reporting directly to Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

The Windows/Windows Live division will be led by senior vice presidents Steven Sinofsky, Jon DeVaan and Bill Veghte.

Microsoft said it will search for a new leader for its online services business. In the interim, senior vice presidents Satya Nadella and Brian McAndrews will remain in the lead of engineering and advertiser and publisher solutions.