MICROSOFT’S MARITZ LEAVES
Seattle, WA. — Microsoft Corp. said on Wednesday that Paul Maritz, vice president of its platform strategy and developer group and a 14-year veteran of the software giant, is retiring, the latest high-level executive to leave the company. Maritz, whose coordinated work on the core technologies at the heart of the Windows operating system, had left for personal reasons but would serve as a consultant on strategic and business issues, Microsoft said. Yuval Neeman would continue as vice president of the developer division while Maritz’s lieutenant, Sanjay Parthasarathy, was named to a business development and developer evangelist role reporting directly to Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, Microsoft said.
The move is the latest in a string of high-level departures that have hit Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft over the past year. In May, the company saw its chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold quit after a year-long leave of absence. That followed the departure in January of chief financial officer Greg Maffei. “I understand Paul’s decision – for personal reasons and after nearly 14 years at Microsoft – to do some of the other things his life that he’d like to do,” Ballmer said in a statement. Maritz’s exit came less than six months after he was tapped to head the developer group and speed the roll-out of the company’s “.NET” initiative to rework its software for the Internet. Joining Microsoft in 1986 after five years at Intel Corp., Maritz led the company’s early networking initiatives and later was responsible for much work on Windows and Office, the suite of business software including the Word word processor and Excel spreadsheet.
Maritz was an early and ardent supporter of Windows, which in its initial versions in the 1980s was looked upon with scorn and skepticism in the computer industry and even within the company itself. Seeing the potential of Windows 3.1, Microsoft’s first successful version of the software released in 1990, Maritz was instrumental in convincing his boss, company co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates, to drop a project with IBM called OS/2 that could have usurped Windows’ popularity. Although the move angered IBM and was risky for Microsoft, which back then took a backseat to Big Blue, it allowed the company to devote more resources to Windows, which eventually became the standard on personal computers. But Maritz was also behind one of the company’s most embarrassing moments, which centered on Netscape Communications, a company that caught Microsoft unawares when it made the first popular software for browsing the Internet. In a now infamous internal e-mail, Maritz wrote that Microsoft should include its own browser with Windows in order to “cut off Netscape’s air supply”, a line that was a prime exhibit in the government’s case that Microsoft abused its Windows monopoly to illegally crush its rivals. In June, a federal judge ruled that Microsoft should be broken in two to prevent further such abuses. Microsoft has maintained it did nothing illegal and is appealing the case.
QUANTUM HARD DISK DRIVE GROUP NAMES EXECS
Milpitas, CALIF. — Quantum Corporation’s Hard Disk Drive Group announced the appointments of three new vice presidents in the High-End Storage Division (HSD). Tom Marmen has been appointed vice president and general manager; Bill Lewis has been promoted to vice president of product development; and John Joseph has been promoted to vice president of marketing. Marmen will report to John Gannon, president of HDDG, while both Lewis and Joseph will report to Marmen. The HSD is responsible for Quantum’s Atlas high-performance products targeted at the Intel-based server market. The HSD is also the leader in storage technology products for the professional digital video market.
“The HSD will benefit greatly from the talent and experience brought to the table by Marmen, Lewis and Joseph,” said Gannon. “Both Lewis and Joseph have made remarkable contributions to the achievements of the HSD in the last seven years, and I am confident that Marmen’s expertise in the fields of strategy development and new product development will bring new insight and ability to the division while strengthening its management team.” Tom Marmen joins Quantum from Adaptec Inc., where he held the position of corporate vice president of the enterprise solutions group. In the three years he spent at Adaptec, Marmen was primarily responsible for the RAID business, for which he developed an integrated business plan. His contributions at Adaptec led to design wins at major OEMs and significant revenue growth for the RAID business.
Bill Lewis has been with Quantum for seven years, most recently as acting vice president of HSD development engineering. During his time at Quantum, Lewis has most notably been responsible for leading product development in Quantum’s Shrewsbury, Massachusetts design center in collaboration with the Milpitas, California design center, achieving record shipments of the Atlas and Atlas 10K line of products. As vice president of product development for HSD, Lewis will continue to assist Quantum in developing products that exceed quality and performance standards while meeting competitive time-to-market windows and maintaining aggressive expense control. John Joseph has been appointed to vice president of marketing for the HSD after serving as the director of marketing for the last three of his seven years with Quantum. As the director of marketing, Joseph managed eight product line managers, was team leader of Quantum’s first 10,000 RPM hard disk drive and helped plan all high-end disk products and new product initiatives.