Ray Ozzie stepping down at Microsoft, CSA role to stay unfilled

With our progress in services and the cloud now full speed ahead in all aspects of our business, Ray and I are announcing today Ray’s intention to step down from his role as chief software architect. [...] While [Ray]’ll continue to report to me during the transition, the CSA role was unique and I won’t refill the role after Ray’s departure. We have a strong planning process, strong technical leaders in each business group and strong innovation heading to the market.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Not that I have so much as a single iota of internal knowledge of what day-to-day development at Microsoft is like, but it seems to me that not filling that Chief Software Architect role is a bad idea.  Sure, Ozzie didn't do the greatest job, and yes, there's maybe a handful of people in the world that could fill that role - but this just seems like an opportunity missed.

There is no Microsoft version of a Steve Jobs - no single source of true leadership that can inspire the company that I can see.  It's dreadfully needed, to get people excited again.  Without the CSA role, well, maybe Steve's starting to write his own way out now.  Might be a good first step.

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