One of Microsoft's top security cops is stepping aside for a new, as-yet-undetermined role at the software company.
Nash, who is corporate vice president of the security technology unit, was put on hold at Microsoft and will be replaced by Ben Fathi, who is currently general manager in the Windows Server division. Nash will continue on in his role while the group undergoes a transition, the company said.
The Nash replacement caught one expert by surprise. "I thought he was doing a good job in terms of external visibility versus working hard to get buy-in within Microsoft," said Laura Koetzle, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass.
The change in security executives comes days after Microsoft said its Vista operating system would ship later than expected. The company also has reorganized the division that is responsible for the desktop software.
The company said on Thursday it has created eight new groups under the new Platforms & Services (PSD) Division at Microsoft. The group oversees all of the company's Windows and MSN assets as well as Microsoft's overall Live strategy.
The division currently has two co-presidents -- Kevin Johnson and Jim Allchin. Allchin is expected to retire when Vista is complete.
With the changes, PSD now has eight new and existing groups: The Windows and Windows Live products will be led by Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president at Microsoft, who led the Office group. The Windows Live platform group will be led by Blake Irving, corporate vice president . David Cole, a senior vice president, will lead the Online Business Group.
At least one analyst remarked on the increased profile of the Windows Live technologies. "We know Windows Live is becoming increasingly more important in the services division, but this seems to indicate that it is taking on a new and even larger role," said Steve Kleynhans, a vice president with Gartner Inc., a Stamford, Conn., consulting firm.
The Market Expansion Group will be helmed by Will Poole, senior vice president. The Core Operating System Division is led by Brian Valentine, a senior vice president.
The Windows Client Marketing Group is led by Mike Sievert, a corporate vice president, and Sanjay Parthasarathy, a corporate vice president, leads the Developer and Platform Evangelism Group. The Server and Tools Business Group is led by Bob Muglia, a senior vice president.
Sinofsky is expected to work with Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie and Blake Irving to support Microsoft's services strategy.
Joan Goodchild contributed to this story.
This article originally appeared on SearchWinIT.com
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A corporate vice president at Microsoft, Fathi is replacing Mike Nash, Microsoft's high-profile security guru who left on sabbatical. Although storage, file protocols and high-availability clustering had been Fathi's focal points when he was a general manager of the Windows Server division, he said he is relishing this new challenge. Fathi was at TechEd in Boston last week talking with SearchWinIT.com about how he will put his imprint on Microsoft security.