Vic Gundotra takes his leave

As noted on CNET News and in Scoble’s blog, Vic Gundotra is leaving.

That’s unfortunate.

I have enjoyed my interactions with Vic, as I found that he has a great sense of hunour. And I admire the fact that he plans on spending “a year doing philanthropy” before taking on his next role.

Vic certainly leaves the organization in the best shape. It’s hard to find a group of more passionate and dedicated people than in the DPE and ISV group, with many talented and strong leaders in Sanjay’s organization.

I was asked today if this departure — along with other high-profile departures in the last month — signaled a sea change in the company’s mid-level leadership. I don’t think so, and it’s interesting to see the way people follow the changes. People will come (Ray Ozzie, Gary Flake) and they will go. The old saying in Redmond (I’ve learned) goes somethings like this: “There are a couple of things for certain in life: death, taxes, and reorgs at Microsoft.” I’ll add this to the list. 

When I lived in Silicon Valley, it was (and still is, arguably) all the rage for people to move from high-profile company to a new hot start-up company. And even in the late 90’s and prior to the Dot-Bomb, the internet followed many stories but never seemed to be as obsessed with the management changes.

Perhaps because it was a regular event, even expected, that it never made the news: after your current option package vested (3 to 4 years) you were either promoted, re-upped for an additional vesting or (most often it seemed) you went to the next big thing. It’s the way that the world worked: you followed the new technology, the investments, the fun people and the money.

When you see all of the cool things going on at the company, and the incredible, talented people working on products, campaigns and projects, the moves are just noise. Some are more of an impact than others, and some you just don’t understand.

It’ll be interesting to see what Vic does with his year; perhaps he’ll use his old blog to talk about the good work in his year of philanthropy.

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